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Cops: Suffolk adult home workers assaulted elderly man

(L-R) Laura Harper, 58, of Coram, and Raquel

(L-R) Laura Harper, 58, of Coram, and Raquel Bouton, 43, of Mount Sinai, were arraigned June 25 on an eight-count indictment that charges them with assaulting an 88-year-old resident of the Woodhave Center of Care, an adult home in Port Jefferson Station, according to the State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. (June 25, 2013) Photo Credit: State Attorney General

Two employees of a Suffolk adult home have been indicted on assault charges after an investigation found they tied up a resident, beat him and put a pillow over his face, the state attorney general's office said.

Nurse Raquel Bouton and personal care aide Laura Harper attacked an 88-year-old man at the Woodhaven Center of Care in Port Jefferson on March 24, 2012, said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, whose office investigated the case. The victim suffered bruising and other nonlife-threatening injuries, authorities said. He has since died, but his death was unrelated to the attack, a Schneiderman spokesperson said.

Bouton ordered an aide trainee to hold his legs, while the nurse held his hands above his head and had Harper tie up his hands, according to the indictment. Then Bouton "forcefully punched him multiple times in the torso and restricted his oxygen flow by holding a pillow over his head multiple times," the indictment said.

A hallway surveillance video showed the suspects leaving the resident's room around the time of the assault, authorities said.

Top charges in Friday's eight-count indictment accuse both Bouton, 43, of Mount Sinai, and Harper, 58, of Coram, of three second-degree felonies: assault, attempted assault and endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person or an incompetent or physically disabled person.

Bail for each was set Tuesday at $10,000 cash or $25,000 bond. Each faces up to 7 years in prison if convicted.

Bouton's attorney, Mark Goidell of Amityville, said the charges are "without merit." "Each and every co-worker gave statements exonerating my client of any wrongdoing," he said.

Harper's attorney and Woodhaven did not return calls.


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