Adult home fondler gets prison sentence
COLONIE A Level 3 sex offender who subjected a 91-year-old woman to sexual contact was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison, the Albany County District Attorney’s Office said.
Richard Ragone, 64, of Colonie, pleaded guilty last month in Albany County Court to first-degree sexual abuse, a felony.
Ragone admitted that while on duty as a maintenance worker at the Loudonville Home for Adults on Nov. 30, he subjected the woman to sexual contact when she was physically helpless. A co-worker observed him fondling the woman’s breast while she was sleeping, officials said.
Ragone was also sentenced to 10 years of post-release supervision. He was already a Level 3 sex offender, based on a 1984 first-degree rape conviction, for which he was sentenced to 121⁄2 to 25 years in prison.
Ragone was sentenced by Albany County Court Judge Peter A. Lynch.
“Through his position at the Loudonville Home for Adults, Mr. Ragone was able to target a vulnerable member of our community. He will have several years in a New York state prison cell to reflect on the consequences of his actions,” Albany County District Attorney David Soares said in a statement.
Soares also noted in his statement that his office encourages employers and concerned citizens to use Offender Watch, a database where they can search out sex offenders who reside in their community.
On Wednesday, the nursing home issued a statement noting that since discovering the crime, the operators of the facility have “taken a series of actions to ensure that an incident such as this will never occur again at our residence.” Among those actions is that each member of the staff has now been screened, criminal background checks have been performed and all employees have participated in mandatory training sessions “designed to enhance the safety and security of our residents.”
The statement continued that officials at the nursing home don’t believe there is any basis for criminal charges against the facility. It said officials there will continue to cooperate with investigators, prosecutors and regulators on any ongoing matters of interest, “including sharing any details and supporting evidence involving a former member of our staff, who was terminated in January, stemming from a failure to exercise appropriate judgment in her role as administrator.”
Days after Ragone’s arrest in January, nursing home administrator Melissa Brown lost her job, officials there confirmed at the time, saying she was fired for “failing to exercise the appropriate judgment stemming from incidents involving the safety and welfare of residents.”
Assistant District Attorney Chantelle Schember of the Special Victims Unit prosecuted the case against Ragone.