For Immediate Release - July 02, 2010

Former Employee Arraigned for Allegedly Abusing 42-Year-Old Disabled Resident at Worcester Facility

WORCESTER - A former employee who worked as a Behavioral Assistant (BA) at the Neuro-Rehab Center in Worcester has been arraigned in connection with allegedly assaulting a 42-year-old disabled resident at the facility, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

Patrick Moriarty, age 21, of Worcester, was arraigned today in Worcester District Court on the charge of Assault and Battery on a Disabled Person. Moriarty entered a plea of not guilty before Judge Paul McGill. Moriarty was released on personal recognizance and ordered not to have any contact with the victim or witnesses. Judge McGill also ordered that Moriarty not work in patient care services with elderly or disabled persons.

In November 2009, 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 on September 1, 2009, the victim, who is brain-damaged and confined to a wheelchair, was in the dining room with Moriarty. When the victim knocked Moriarty's soda bottle off of a table, the defendant responded by striking the victim on the back of the head. This act was observed by two other staff members who were sitting close by. The facility terminated Moriarty's employment after it conducted an internal investigation into the matter.

Moriarty is due back in court on July 16, 2010, for a pre-trial conference.

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