Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nusing Home Employee Convicted of Sex Attack

A Corona man has been convicted of sexually molesting a 64-year-old Alzheimer’s patient at a Flushing nursing home where he worked, authorities announced. He now faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced next month.

Juan Tavares-Nunez, 55, of 33-41 104th Street was convicted last Wednesday of first-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of an incompetent person after a one-week jury trial. Following the verdict, Supreme Court Justice Robert C. Kohm revoked the defendant’s $250,000 bail and ordered him remanded into custody until he is sentenced on March 5. He will also be required to register as a sex offender and submit his DNA to the nationwide database.

According to evidence established at trial, Tavares-Nunez, while working as a porter at Cliffside Nursing Home on Graham Court in Flushing, entered the room of a bedridden Alzheimer patient - who is completely dependent on others for daily activities - and sexually molested her on the afternoon of July 27, 2007. The crime came to light when the defendant’s supervisor observed the incident and reported it. Tavares-Nunez, who worked at Cliffside for about nine years, was immediately fired.

“The defendant stands convicted of committing a particularly heinous crime against one of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Brown. “A nursing facility should always be viewed as a patient’s home away from home. To force anyone to endure such a traumatic incident – especially one at such a fragile stage in their life – is beyond moral comprehension.”

The investigation was conducted by the NYPD’s Queens Special Victims Squad and was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Dianna L. Megias, of the DA’s Special Victims Bureau.

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