For Immediate Release: January 4, 2013
Contact: Adam D. Kramer, 518-441-5183 (Tedisco), email@example.com
Joshua Fitzpatrick, 518-455-2381 (Marchione), firstname.lastname@example.org
MARCHIONE & TEDISCO CALL FOR “ELDER CARE FACILITY SEX OFFENDER” LAW TO PREVENT SEX OFFENDERS FROM WORKING IN ALL NY ELDER CARE FACILITIES
Legislators seek to protect vulnerable seniors from being preyed upon by dangerous ex-felons like what is alleged to have occurred at the Loudonville Home for Adults
New York State Senator Kathy Marchione (R,C-Halfmoon) and New York State Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today said they are drafting new legislation to ensure senior care facilities perform sex offender registry checks for all employees to prevent registered sex offenders from working in the facilities.
Marchione and Tedisco’s forthcoming bill would close a current loophole in the law by ensuring that adult homes and assisted living residences conduct sex offender background checks on all their employees. If a prospective employee is found to be a convicted sex offender they will be barred from working at the elder care facility. The legislators noted that there is no cost to run names of potential employees through New York’s Sex Offender Registry.
Marchione and Tedisco’s legislation is being introduced in response to the recent arrest of Richard Ragone, a Level 3 sex offender who allegedly sexually abused a 91-year-old woman at the Loudonville Home for Adults. Ragone, a maintenance man employed at the elder care facility since 2008, was previously convicted in 1984 of first-degree rape, sodomy and attempted sexual abuse and served 16 years in prison for victimizing a woman in Saratoga County.
“As a society, we have a duty – and a moral obligation – to protect senior citizens and prevent dangerous sex offenders from working in adult homes or assisted living facilities. Serving and caring for our elderly is one of the highest callings, a great privilege and an incredible responsibility. Requiring prospective employees seeking to be entrusted with that responsibility to undergo background review is a proactive step that could help prevent future tragedies from occurring,” Marchione said.
“It’s unconscionable that a Level 3 sex offender was allowed to work at a home for the elderly. Dangerous sex offenders are predators who look for opportunities to abuse people of all ages, especially those most vulnerable. They should never be able to work in any adult home or assisted living residence ever again,” said Tedisco, who was a strong voice for passage of the civil confinement law in 2007 to keep dangerous sex offenders off our streets.
“Our seniors and their families deserve to have the peace of mind that they are safe in all of New York’s elder care facilities and will not be victimized by convicted sexual deviants,” said Tedisco.