Nurse's assistant accused of raping patient at Laurel Lake


Tuesday August 14, 2012

GREAT BARRINGTON -- A Pittsfield man is facing multiple charges for allegedly trying to rape a female resident last weekend at the Lee nursing home where he worked.

Paul Shartrand, 46, an em ployee of the Laurel Lake Center for Health and Rehab ilitation, was arrested on Sun day in response to a complaint from another employee that a disabled elderly woman had been sexually assaulted in her room.

Police Chief Joseph Buffis said the attack, which remains under investigation, occurred Saturday night or early Sunday morning. He noted Shartrand, a certified nursing assistant, was on duty when the woman was allegedly assaulted.

Shartrand pleaded not guilty on Monday in Southern Berk shire District Court on one count each of assault with intent to rape, assault and battery on a disabled person over 60 years of age and injury to a disabled or elderly person -- the alleged attempted rape -- according to the Lee Police Department.

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Judge Michael Mulcahy ordered Shartrand held in the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction pending a dangerousness hearing on Thursday in the district court, court officials said.

Shartrand’s employment status could not be learned.

The alleged rape in Lee is the latest in a series of Berkshire County cases the past four years involving nursing home employees assaulting patients -- two of them resulting in rape convictions.

In January, Vermont native Jerald H. Sullivan was sentenced to 5 to 8 years in state prison for raping a 69-year-old female resident with dementia at the Hillcrest Commons Nursing and rehabilitation Center in Pitts field. Another former Hillcrest Commons worker, Sean Mur phy is current serving a 10-year state prison term for a similar incident in 2008.

At Springside of Pittsfield, three reports of nursing home residents being physically abused resulted in two staff members receiving suspended sentences and probation. The third alleged assailant, a contract worker, was found not guilty of assaulting a stroke patient while drawing blood.

To reach Dick Lindsay:,
or (413) 496-6233


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