Nurse's Aide Charged With Taking Inappropriate Photo: Aide Charged Over Photo of Patient
August 07, 2009
PLATTSBURGH — A former nurse’s aide from Clinton County Nursing Home has been charged with taking a sexually explicit photo of a 49-year-old male patient with a traumatic brain injury.
The New York State Attorney General’s Office said Shane Spooner, 33, of Standish Street used a cell phone to take an “inappropriate photo of a nursing-home patient under his care.”
Plattsburgh City Police charged Spooner Thursday morning with second-degree unlawful surveillance and first-degree dissemination of an unlawful surveillance image, both felonies.
The complaint alleges that on March 28 Spooner used his cell phone to take a picture of the 49-year-old’s genitals and sent a text message with this photograph to a female employee, who was not working at the time.
Spooner asked his co-worker to forward the picture to another friend, but instead she reported the incident to her supervisors.
Spooner allegedly admitted his conduct to an investigator from the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and conceded that he took and sent the photograph for his own amusement.
Spooner, who has known about the investigation into his actions for a month, surrendered to law enforcement Thursday.
He is no longer employed at the nursing home and was arraigned Thursday before Judge Penelope Clute. A pair of agents from the Attorney General’s Office escorted the husband and father of two, who walked with his head down, into City Court.
Clute sent Spooner to Clinton County Jail on $1,000 cash bail, $2,000 bond.
She said Spooner has at least three prior misdemeanor convictions in City Court, including aggravated unlicensed operation.
“These charges are a disgusting example of abuse within the walls of a New York nursing home,” Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in a news release.
“The employee allegedly violated the privacy rights of his patient, the laws of New York state and the rules of common decency.
“This office has zero tolerance for nurses and health-care providers who disregard the law, and our investigation into this kind of misconduct at New York nursing homes continues.”