For Immediate Release - August 14, 2009

Former Nurse's Assistant Arraigned for Alleged Abuse of 83-Year-Old Resident in Melrose

MALDEN - A former Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) at EPOCH Senior Healthcare, a nursing home in Melrose, was arraigned in Malden District Court yesterday in connection with the alleged assault of an 83-year-old resident at the facility. Marie Michel, age 54, of Medford , is charged Assault and Battery on an Elderly Person (1 count), and Threatening to Commit a Crime (1 count).

In October of 2008, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after the matter was referred by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). Authorities allege that at approximately 4:00 a.m. on September 17, 2008, the victim, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, got out of bed and began to wander around her room. Michel then entered the victim's room where she allegedly punched the victim two times in the chest and stomach area, pushed her down onto her bed, and threatened the victim not to get up again. The victim's roommate witnessed the incident.

Michel was arraigned in Malden District Court yesterday where she entered a plea of not guilty before Judge Dominic Paratore. Michel was released on personal recognizance and ordered not to have any contact with the victim or witnesses and to refrain from working in patient care services. Michel is due back in court on September 15, 2009, for a pre-trial conference.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Casey Groff, and was investigated by Investigator Steve Devlin, both of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division.