Earlier this month, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that four former nursing home aides had been arrested and charged with felonies and misdemeanors relating to the taking of photographs and videos of nursing home residents.
Mathew Reynolds and Angel Rood, former employees of Pontiac Nursing Home in Oswego, were charged with Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree and Willful Violation of the Public Health Law after taking demeaning pictures of residents. According to the announcement, “Several of the pictures allegedly depict the defendants lying in bed with a resident and touching the resident in a taunting and abusive manner.”
In a separate case, Austin Powell and Brittany Bolster were charged with Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, in addition to Willful Violation of the Public Health Law for offenses committed while employed at St. Lukes Health Services in Oswego. In this case, videos were taken of the pair verbally and physically tormenting a resident.
The practice of taking photographs and videos of nursing home residents in degrading poses, and sharing those images and videos with others via social media, was recently highlighted by a ProPublica investigation.
In New York, the practice will not be tolerated. According to Schneiderman, “We will keep working to prosecute the abuse and neglect of nursing home residents, and punish those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.”