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The Berkshires

Level three sex offender accused of sexually abusing 91-year-old woman at nursing home

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Albany/HV: Level three sex offender accused of sexually abusing 91-year-old woman at nursing home
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A registered sex offender from Albany County is once again facing felony charges after police say he molested a 91-year-old resident of the nursing home that formerly employed him. Matt Hunter has more.

COLONIE, N.Y. – Roughly 12 years after serving a 16 year prison sentence for first degree rape, sodomy and sexual abuse convictions, Richard Ragone is once again in trouble with the law.

According to Colonie Police, in late November, the 64-year-old maintenance worker at the Loudonville Home for Adults entered the room of a 91-year-old female resident, claiming he was there to change a light bulb.

"At that time, he placed his hands under the 91-year-old's shirt and was rubbing her chest and breast area," Colonie Police Lieutenant Robert Winn said Thursday.

Investigators first learned of the alleged abuse after it was reported by a witness who also worked at the home. Ragone was arrested on December 21st and is now charged with third degree sexual abuse and second degree endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person.

It's unclear if the home's owners conducted a background check on him before he was hired.

"The information about Mr. Ragone was readily available at the time he was hired there,” Winn said. “We have reason to believe through our investigation, other people have told us that the home was notified, perhaps by an anonymous letter."

While he declined to provide an interview, the nursing home's owner, Michael Levine, issued a statement Thursday saying that Ragone was immediately dismissed and that:

"Unacceptable behavior that places residents, staff and/or families in harm's way is not and never will be tolerated in our community. Our community provides a clean, comfortable and secure environment where all of our residents are part of a family. Everyone's safety and security is our top priority."

As of now, police do not believe he has any other victims but stress the investigation is ongoing.

"Anyone who sees this or has a relative at the home, it's a good time to have a conversation with them to see if there's any other incidents or victims out there,” Winn said.

New York is one of several states that requires background checks be conducted on applicants at both private and public nursing homes, however, it remains unclear if that law was in effect when Ragone was hired, or if the Loudonville Home for Adults was in compliance with the law by having him on staff.

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