Nurse, aide arrested for assaulting 88-year-old man in Suffolk County

Raquel Bouton and Laura Harper

June 26, 2013 4:31:15 AM PDT
Authorities in Suffolk County have arrested a nurse and aide for allegedly tying the hands of a bed-ridden resident, punching and putting a pillow over the 88-year-old's head.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the arrest and eight-count indictment charging Raquel Bouton, a Licensed Practical Nurse, and Laura Harper, a Personal Care Aide.

The 88-year-old man, too sick to defend himself, was a resident at Woodhaven Adult Home in Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.

"The facts of this case are despicable. Nursing homes like this are entrusted to protect peoples' loved ones and help them in the twilight years when they are often at their most vulnerable," Attorney General Schneiderman said.

According to investigators, Bouton, 43, of Mount Sinai, N.Y., and Harper, 58, of Coram, N.Y., acted together when they tied the resident's hands together, held them above his head, forcefully punched him multiple times in his torso and restricted his oxygen flow by holding a pillow over his face in bed. The man suffered injuries, including bruising to the torso, restricted breathing and pain.

The investigation further revealed that Bouton falsified progress notes to cover up the crime. The defendants were captured on the adult home's surveillance video in the hallway outside the resident's room entering and exiting his room at the time of the assault.

"That a nurse and aid would treat anyone like this - let alone an 88 year-old man too sick to defend himself - is the ultimate betrayal of that trust. I have and will continue to do everything in my power to make sure that criminals like this are punished severely," Schneiderman said.

Bouton and Harper face top felony counts of second-degree assault and up to 7 years behind bars for the March 24, 2012 attack.

Attorneys for the women said the allegations are entirely unfounded.