Nurse's Aide Arrested For Abusing Elderly Patient At Oneida County Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced the arrest of a certified nurse's aide for repeatedly abusing an 86-year-old woman at a Rome nursing home last month.

"This kind of criminal behavior against our elderly and most vulnerable residents will not be tolerated," said Spitzer. "We are committed to vigorously prosecuting those who abuse the patients in their care."

Margaret Henderson, 59, of 204 Lyndale Drive in Rome, was arraigned today in Rome City Court before Judge Daniel Wilson. She was charged with five counts of Wilful Violation of Health Laws. If convicted, she faces up to one year in prison.

Henderson, while employed as a nurse's aide at the Betsy Ross Rehabilitation Center between January 1st and 16th, physically abused the patient by pulling her by the hair on five separate occasions. The incidents occurred while moving the patient from her bed to a wheelchair, getting her to stand, or assisting her in getting dressed.

Spitzer thanked the State Health Department for referring the matter to his office. He also thanked the nursing home for its assistance and cooperation in the investigation.

Betsy Ross Rehabilitation Center is located at One Elsie Street in Rome. Henderson worked at the facility from August 1980 to January 2001, when she was terminated as a result of the incidents.

Special Assistant Attorney General Norman S. Hatt, of the Syracuse Regional Office of Attorney General Spitzer's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, is prosecuting the case. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.

The charges against Henderson are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.