RYE — A custodian from Webster at Rye is accused of sexually assaulting an 86-year-old woman with dementia inside her bathroom at the local assisted living facility.
Hugh McIntyre, 69, of 106 Post Road, Greenland, is charged with sexual assault, abuse of a facility resident, and simple assault — all misdemeanors.
According to police, the alleged assault occurred on Jan. 28 and was witnessed by another worker at the facility.
McIntyre, who was arrested on April 2, was scheduled to be arraigned on April 19, but waived arraignment and has pleaded not guilty.
Hampton defense lawyer Andrew Cotrupi, who is representing McIntyre, said he believes all of McIntyre’s interactions were caught on security cameras and will prove his innocence.
“We’re confident that it will show that he did not commit a criminal act,” he said.
The charges allege that McIntyre fondled the breast of the elderly woman, who “had a disability that rendered her incapable of freely arriving at an independent choice as to whether or not to engage in sexual conduct.”
The alleged assault occurred in the patient’s bathroom in the facility’s memory care unit.
McIntyre is accused of using force against the woman with the intention of taking advantage of her age or physical disability.
According to a Rye police affidavit, officers were called to the facility on Jan. 29 after a memory care aide reported that she witnessed McIntyre grabbing the woman’s exposed breast while he was in the bathroom.
The aide told police that she was in the laundry room across from the woman’s room and heard her making “loud noises.” She reported that the bathroom door was half open and she could see the alleged assault.
At one point, the aide claimed she made eye contact with McIntyre and that he said something to the effect of, “I can’t get her out of the bathroom,” the affidavit said.
Police said video footage showed McIntyre walk into the patient’s room, leave to grab cleaning supplies, and then return. He could be seen through a crack in the open bathroom door, police said. The aide then appeared and could be seen a few feet away from the open bathroom door. Police said the video then showed the aide look away for a moment and then walk closer to the door. McIntyre is seen exiting the room a minute later, police said.
Cotrupi said McIntyre has voluntarily left the facility until the criminal case is resolved, but Webster at Rye CEO Tom Argue said he was terminated from the position.
“Webster at Rye received an allegation from an employee of inappropriate contact between another employee and a resident. The matter was reported to the Rye Police and the Office of the New Hampshire Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The employee was removed from the building and after an internal investigation was terminated. Webster at Rye has a culture of zero tolerance for anything that might even be perceived as inappropriate,” Argue said in a prepared statement.
Rye Police and the New Hampshire Department of Justice Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated the case, which is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s office.