A home health attendant accused of fondling himself in front of a 6-year-old Westbury boy has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of endangering the boy’s welfare, the Nassau County district attorney announced Friday.
Thomas Tana, 60, of Commack was arrested by Nassau police Nov. 24 after the boy’s father walked in on Tana in front of the naked boy in the boy’s room, according to a news release from DA Madeline Singas’ office. Tana was in his third week of employment in the family's Westbury home as a caretaker and tutor for the boy, who is nonverbal.
Tana was arraigned Friday in Nassau County Court before Judge Fran Ricigliano on charges including endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 1⅓ years to four years imprisonment. He was released with electronic monitoring and is due back in court Feb. 4.
In an interview, Michael Alber, Tana’s lawyer, said the boy’s father — the prosecution’s lead witness — "has been materially inconsistent’’ in his account of events. "No crime was committed in this case," Alber said. "Upon review of all the evidence and a proper investigation that’s fair, it will be determined that Mr. Tana was well-intentioned, foundationally a good man at his core, and that he should be given every presumption of innocence without a rush to judgment on grossly exaggerated allegations."
Singas, however, said in her release: "The defendant was trusted with taking care of a vulnerable six-year old … The allegations in this case are truly despicable and we will prosecute them vigorously."