Nurse's Aide Admits To Abusing 94-year-old Infirm Patient At Queens Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that Charmaine Ray, who formerly worked as a nurse's aide at the Elmhurst Care Center in Queens, has admitted to abusing a 94-year-old male patient at the facility last August.

On August 14, 2000, Ray entered the room of the patient, who suffers from dementia, anemia, congestive heart failure, and atrial fibrillation. Although she was aware that the patient also had fragile skin (a disorder known as senile purpura that is characterized by bleeding beneath the skin), Ray grabbed the patient roughly by his upper right arm and left wrist. As a result, the patient suffered traumatic skin tears to his right arm and a cut to his left hand.

Appearing yesterday in Queens Criminal Court before Judge Robert Raciti, Ray pleaded guilty to Wilful Violation of Health Laws, a Class A misdemeanor. Sentencing was set for April 24, at which time Judge Raciti indicated he would likely sentence Ray to three years' probation, with the condition that she refrain from working in the health care field during that time.

"We have no tolerance for those who abuse our elderly and most vulnerable residents," said Spitzer. "This conviction sends a clear message to all health care workers that my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will aggressively prosecute those who mistreat patients entrusted to their care."

Ray, 45, lives at 91-30 191st Street in Hollis, Queens. She worked at Elmhurst Care Center, located at 100-17 23rd Avenue in East Elmhurst, from February 18, 2000, until her termination shortly after the incident.

Special Assistant Attorney General Diane M. McFarlane, of the Attorney General's New York City Regional Office of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, prosecuted the case. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.