BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) 30 year old Paul Scott of Buffalo pleaded not guilty Sunday to sexual abuse of a physically helpless defendant.
Scott is free on 10-thousand dollars bond Monday. He is a nursing assistant at Hawthorn Health Multi-Care Center on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. Scott will have to face charges in a few days that he sexually abused a 77 year old woman in his care. He was arrested at the nursing home Saturday night.
Michael Scinta of Brown Chiari law firm tells us elder abuse is all too common. "What we often see is a range of injuries from fractures to bedsores or even as you've seen sexual or physical abuse."
Hawthorne Health is owned by not for profit company Presbyterian Homes of Western New York, according to the New York State Department of Health website. Police have not accused Hawthorn Health or Presbyterian Homes with any wrongdoing.
It's not clear how police were alerted to this alleged sexual abuse case. Scinta tells us there are few physical clues when a senior citizen is abused, but there are signs a family can look for. "Don't be shy. Go to the nursing home at different times of the day to find out what might really be going on. Ask the staff questions. Because many times the symptoms of abuse are the symptoms you can't see."
New York State Department of Health does have a website with facts and incident reports on nursing homes.
We have a link to that nursing homes tool on our website. We did reach out to Hawthorn Health today, but we were told "no comment."