Oneida Nursing Home Aide Sentenced To 50 Years In Prison For Rape Of 92-year-old Patient

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that Arthur Wallace, a certified nurse's aide formerly employed at the Oneida City Hospital Extended Care Facility, has been sentenced to 25 to 50 years in State prison for repeatedly raping an elderly female resident at the Oneida facility during a two-month period in 1997.

Appearing this morning in Madison County Court before Judge Hugh C. Humphreys, Wallace was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 12 ? to 25 years in prison, and three concurrent terms of 12 ? to 25 years.

Wallace was found guilty as charged of five counts of Rape in the First Degree following a three-day jury trial in May. He has been held in the Madison County Jail since his arrest in February.

In conducting a criminal background check on Wallace at that time, it was discovered that he previously had been court-martialed from the U.S. Army for lewd and lascivious contact with a minor and sentenced to federal prison. In his nursing home employment application Wallace failed to note any prior criminal convictions.

Spitzer has proposed legislation to require criminal background checks for all individuals seeking employment as home health or nurse's aides in the long-term health-care industry.

"One can hardly imagine a crime more horrible than sexually violating an elderly person," said Spitzer. "It is disheartening to think that a simple background check may very well have prevented this tragedy from occurring. We owe it to our elders to take basic steps that could protect them from such violence and abuse."

While employed at the facility, Wallace forcibly raped a 92-year-old patient on five separate occasions between September and October 1997.

Wallace, 42, resided at Handsome Brook Trailer Park, on Shawler Brook Road in Sherburne, New York. He was employed as a certified nurse's aide at Oneida, a 160-bed health care facility located at 323 Genesee Street in Oneida, from November 1996 to September 1998, when he was terminated for sexually harassing fellow employees.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Ralph D. Tortora, III, Director of the Syracuse Regional Office of Attorney General Spitzer's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.