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Post date: June 19 2002

Nurse's Aide Pleads Guilty To "kathy's Law" Felony

Attorney General Spitzer announced that a certified nurse’s aide formerly employed at the Nor Loch Manor Nursing Home in Rochester pleaded guilty under Kathy’s Law to a felony crime for recklessly causing physical injury to an elderly female patient as a result of an incident earlier this year.

Constance Moore, 41, of 845 Post Avenue in Rochester pleaded guilty to Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person in the Second Degree at her arraignment today before Judge Charles T. Maloy in Rochester City Court. Moore also surrendered her nurse’s aide certificate.

Sentencing was set for August 7, at which time Judge Maloy indicated that Moore faces up to six months in jail, followed by 4½ years’ probation.

"This act of abuse by a health care professional demonstrates once again the need for such tough felony statutes as ‘Kathy’s Law,’ which send a clear message that attacks on the elderly and other vulnerable members of our society will not be tolerated," said Spitzer. "My office will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute those individuals who prey upon our defenseless and infirm citizens."

According to prosecutors, the incident occurred in February 2002, and involved a 75-year-old female patient who suffers from dementia and is unable to care for herself.

On November 1, 1998, "Kathy’s Law," a bill designed to protect nursing home residents and home health care patients from abuse went into effect. The law provides enhanced penalties for crimes committed against the elderly and vulnerable by their caregivers. The statute is named for a 29-year-old comatose Rochester-area nursing home patient, who was raped and impregnated by nurse’s aide John Horace. Horace is presently serving a prison term of 8 1/3 to 25 years for the crime.

Spitzer thanked the state Health Department for referring the matter to his office. He also thanked the administration and staff of the nursing home for their cooperation and assistance during the course of the investigation.

Moore was employed at the facility from June 2001 to February 2002. Nor Loch Manor Nursing Home is located at 1140 Norton Street in Rochester.

Special Assistant Attorney General Jerry M. Solomon, Director of the Rochester Regional Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, prosecuted the case. Assisting on the investigation was Special Investigator William Falk.