WILLIAMSVILLE, NY (WIVB) – A man tasked with taking care of a disabled person is facing charges of sexual abuse.
57 year-old George West, of Williamsville, was arraigned Thursday on charges of the alleged sexual abuse of an adult female with severe developmental disabilities in his care.
People Inc. says that West was a part-time employee for nine months and went through all pre-hire background checks without raising any red flags.
Upon hearing of the incident on June 14, 2015, People Inc. notified police and placed West on unpaid administrative leave before terminating his employment on July 3, 2015.
West is charged with ten felony and misdemeanor counts following a joint investigation conducted by the Town of Amherst Police Department and the NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.
He pled not guilty in Erie County Court to one count of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the first degree, one count of endangering the welfare in the second degree, four felony counts of endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly or an incompetent or physically disabled person and four counts of sexual abuse in the second degree. Bail was set at $15,000 cash.
People Inc. provided a statement Thursday evening stating
“We proactively contacted the family and staff members and have been working with law enforcement and the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs to do everything we can to support the investigation. We have been in close contact with family members and the potentially impacted individual throughout. Counseling services and other support were put into place and will continue to be provided.”