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District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced that Steven Gordon, 55, of Tewksbury, was arraigned May 31 in Middlesex Superior Court and charged with caretaker abuse of an elder causing serious bodily injury and caretaker abuse of an elder permitting bodily injury in connection with the alleged abuse of an elderly woman who the defendant was the sole caretaker of.
Clerk Magistrate Matthew Day released the defendant on personal recognizance ordered the defendant to continue to receive mental health treatment, to sign a waiver with the Probation Department to allow them to monitor his compliance with prescription medication and to not manage the care of or work with the elderly. The next scheduled hearing in this case is June 22.
“The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office is determined to ensure that seniors, one of our most vulnerable populations, are protected from abuse and that those who harm them are prosecuted,” said District Attorney Ryan. “The defendant in this case allegedly abused a woman who was solely in his care and entirely dependent upon him. The defendant’s alleged actions are indicative of a pattern of behavior that undermines the quality of life that all seniors are entitled to.”
On May 4, 2017, the defendant dialed 911 to report that an 85-year-old woman with whom the defendant resided was having a heart attack. When emergency personnel arrived they observed the residence to be in disarray and with the victim living in unsanitary conditions. The victim was transported to an area hospital where medical staff determined she was malnourished and exhibiting signs of neglect including a large bedsore. The victim died on May 5, 2017. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be natural causes.
Through their investigation authorities learned that the defendant had allegedly isolated the victim from her family.
The defendant was directly indicted on May 8, 2018.
These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Heidi Gosule. The Victim Witness Advocate is Lori Riccio.
District Attorney Marian Ryan and the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office are deeply committed to protecting seniors within the community through innovative public private partnerships including the Middlesex Senior Health and Safety Initiative, a comprehensive training program for EMS, police, and fire personnel designed to provide first responders with the necessary tools to identify the less conspicuous signs of abuse or neglect and, upon doing so, to activate a rapid response intervention.
Additionally, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office’s Senior Protection Program partners with local police departments, elder services and community-based banks to educate seniors on how to stay safe, avoid scams and theft and report abuse.
Before becoming District Attorney, Ryan served as Chief of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office’s Elder and Disabled Unit, where she prosecuted a myriad of crimes involving financial abuse and physical abuse of the most vulnerable victims. In that role, she collaborated with business and community leaders to conduct risk assessments and develop prevention plans for elders and disabled citizens. Ryan continues to host seminars in community settings to provide advice to residents about how to protect themselves.
For more information on ways to protect seniors visit: http://middlesexda.com/prosecution/elder-disabled.php