Massachusetts Nursing Home Abuse Charges Lead to Conviction of Ex-Certified Nursing Assistant

Paul Shartrand, a former Berkshire County nursing home worker, has been convicted of caretaker abuse of a disabled person, as well as assault and battery of a person. The 48-year-old is accused of sexually assaulting a disabled person under his care.

The nursing home resident, 55, was at a Lee, MA facility when the Shartrand, then a certified nursing assistant, allegedly attempted to receive oral sex from her in 2012. She was already in the advanced stages of Huntington’s disease at the time, and could no longer speak, move, communicate, or feed herself. A supervisor claims to have witnessed the Massachusetts nursing home abuse incident.

The jury acquitted Shartrand of the charge of assault with intent to rape. His lawyer claims that the supervisor who reported seeing the alleged attempted sex assault had a grudge against the nursing home worker. Shartrand contends that he was merely adjusting the bedridden patient and not assaulting her. Lee Police said that Shartrand initially agreed to provide an evidentiary swap of his genital area but later changed his mind.

Nursing Home Negligence

Massachusetts nursing homes have a responsibility to make sure that residents are protected from any type of assault by a nursing worker, visitor, or another resident. This includes properly vetting potential staff to make sure they don’t have a criminal record, providing adequate supervision of staff and residents, properly training staff, and establishing the proper security measures—screening and keeping track of who is allowed onto the premise, setting up of monitoring with surveillance cameras, and ensuring that entrances and exits are properly secured.

Many nursing home patients are too sick, disabled or frail, which can make them easy targets for predators, not only because they may be unable to defend themselves but also because they could be too scared or impaired to report or even know what has happened. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our Boston nursing home neglect and abuse law firm represents patients and their families in pursuing claims and damages.

Shorthand found guilty on two charges, acquitted of most serious one, The Berkshire Eagle, March 30, 2015

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