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Convicted sex offender accused of striking again at Waterfront Center nursing home in Buffalo

Abuse of patient allegedly happened in January
Posted at 11:30 AM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 19:05:11-04

During the month that Thomas Moore walked the halls of the Waterfront Center nursing home, residents there had no idea a convicted sex offender was living among them.

Moore was convicted twice of molesting older women. On Jan. 3, investigators say he struck again, creeping into a woman's room at the nursing home and sexual assaulting her.

“I don't put it past them,” said Noel Santiago, whose mother is in the nursing home. “The security here is almost non-existent.”

 

Two reporters from 7 Eyewitness News went to Waterfront Center to ask how such an oversight could have happened, but managers refused to open the doors and threatened to call the police.

That left visitors like Douglas Armstrong locked out, too.

When asked whether he would want his mother to live at Waterfront Center, he said, “Oh no, definitely not...[not] my Mom or my sisters.”

But John Robertson's mother is already living there.

“It makes me want to take her out of here, and I'm in the process of doing that,” Robertson said.

Robertson won't even bring his grandchildren for visits after hearing about the sexual assault.

He said the nursing home should have notified residents of the crime that allegedly occurred there sooner. 

“They should let somebody know,” Robertson said. “They should let the residents know. Like with my, I have my Mom in here. They should have let me know.”

There are no laws in New York State prohibiting sex offenders from living in nursing homes.

“If they're under supervised care, there's nothing you can do,” said Jen, whose husband is a patient there. “Everybody has a right to be in a facility like this.”

A spokesman for owner Kenny Rozenberg, who is based in New York City, told 7 Eyewitness News in a statement that police notified his company of Moore's past abuses only after Moore had already been living there.

"By that time it was after the fact and facilities in New York State are prohibited from discharging residents unless there is another facility available to receive them," said the statement.

But Santiago, whose mother has been at Waterfront for eight months, said that's not good enough.

“They're not really keeping an eye on the residents here,” Santiago said. “They let them do whatever they want. And my Mom keeps the doors closed, so that's a scary proposition where somebody could go in there, close the door and do whatever they want."

State records show this incident is not the only problem Waterfront has dealt with. 

In November 2015, the state fined Waterfront $24,000 for not providing quality care to its residents. 

Moore, meanwhile, is locked up in the Erie County Holding Center. He faces a felony charge of endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person.