A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Suffolk County Nurse And Aide For Assaulting 88-year-old Adult Home Resident
Licensed Practical Nurse And Personal Care Aide Tied Hands Of Bed-Ridden Resident, Punched And Put Pillow Over Male Victim’s Head
Schneiderman: This Kind Of Abuse At The Hands Of Caregivers Is As Horrifying As It Is Intolerable; We Will Prosecute Those Who Harm Our Vulnerable Elderly
HAUPPAUGE – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today the arrest and eight-count indictment charging Raquel Bouton, a Licensed Practical Nurse, and Laura Harper, a Personal Care Aide, with assaulting an 88-year-old, incompetent and physically disabled resident at Woodhaven Adult Home in Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. The defendants, who were arraigned in Suffolk Count Supreme Court, face top felony counts of second-degree assault and up to 7 years behind bars for the March 24, 2012 attack.
"The facts of this case are despicable. Nursing homes like this are entrusted to protect peoples’ loved ones and help them in the twilight years when they are often at their most vulnerable,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “That a nurse and aid would treat anyone like this – let alone an 88 year-old man too sick to defend himself – is the ultimate betrayal of that trust. I have and will continue to do everything in my power to make sure that criminals like this are punished severely. "
An investigation by Attorney General Schneiderman’s Office revealed that Bouton, 43, of Mount Sinai, N.Y., and Harper, 58, of Coram, N.Y., acted together when they tied the resident’s hands together, held them above his head, forcefully punched him multiple times in his torso and restricted his oxygen flow by holding a pillow over his face in bed. The attack, inside the home, at 1350 Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station, caused the resident physical injury, including bruising to the torso, restricted breathing and pain.
The investigation further revealed that Bouton falsified progress notes to cover up the crime. The defendants were captured on the adult home’s surveillance video in the hallway outside the resident’s room entering and exiting his room at the time of the assault.
Bouton and Harper are charged with one count each of Assault in the Second Degree, one count of Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, and one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person, or an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the Second Degree, which are felonies. The women also face misdemeanor charges, one count of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person and two counts of Willful Violations of Health Laws. Bouton was also charged with one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree. The defendants face up to 3 1/2 to 7 years imprisonment.
The charges are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Attorney General Schneiderman thanks the Suffolk County Police Department, which initially arrested Harper on May 13, 2012 for their willingness to work cooperatively and particularly Detective Richard Marra and Police Officer Christopher Standard for their outstanding police work.
Harper was first arrested by the Suffolk County Police Department for Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, or an incompetent or physically disabled person in the second degree.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Megan Gallagher of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Hauppauge Regional Office under the Supervision of Regional Director Jane Zwirn-Turkin, Special Deputy Attorney General Monica Hickey-Martin and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.