New checks for sex offenders at elder care facilities proposed

Capital Region Scene

A Daily Gazette news blog
News on politics and government
Friday, January 4, 2013

New state legislation is being proposed to ensure sex offenders don’t work at elder care facilities.

Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Glenville, and state Sen. Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon, will introduce legislation that requires elder care facilities to perform sex offender registry checks on all potential employees. The proposal comes in the wake of a Level 3 sex offender getting arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a 91-year-old woman at the elder care facility he worked at in Loudonville.

“It’s unconscionable that a Level 3 sex offender was allowed to work at a home for the elderly,” Tedisco said in a statement.

“Dangerous sex offenders are predators who look for opportunities to abuse people of all ages, especially those most vulnerable,” he said. “They should never be able to work in any adult home or assisted living residence ever again.”

Marchione added that this legislation is a moral obligation to the state’s senior citizens.

“Serving and caring for our elderly is one of the highest callings, a great privilege and an incredible responsibility,” she said in a statement. “Requiring prospective employees seeking to be entrusted with that responsibility to undergo background screenings is a proactive step that could help prevent future tragedies from occurring.”

The legislation would require adult homes and assisted living residences conduct sex offender background checks on any employees.