A former nurse’s aide at a Danbury nursing home has been charged with sexual assault after police investigated allegations from a staff member and from a resident who had video of the man in their room.
Juan Farfan, 57, of Danbury was charged Wednesday with criminal attempt at first-degree sexual assault, two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct. He was released after posting a $50,000 bond.
He was arrested one day after the CT Mirror published a story detailing how the state Department of Public Health had issued an immediate jeopardy order against Western Rehabilitation Care Center, saying it failed to properly investigate allegations of abuse.
Danbury police spokeswoman Erin Harty said that the investigation is continuing. She said one of the fourth-degree sexual assault charges stems from the complaint by the staff member, a speech therapist, and the other three involve the resident.
The DPH investigation showed that the speech therapist at the facility alleged that Farfan had sexually assaulted her and had told administrators that they should be looking into his relationship with the resident.
The resident had their roommate call 9-1-1 from their room on Jan. 30 after viewing two video recordings that allegedly show Farfan entering their room while the resident wasn’t there, taking underwear and using some personal items.
The resident told police and DPH investigators that the nurse’s aide had tried to kiss them on numerous occasions, deliberately bumped into them and one time opened the shower curtain and started touching the resident with a cloth.
Farfan was placed on leave after the police responded to the 9-1-1 call and was fired a week later.
Under state statute, the administrator at Western and the speech therapist who said she warned management are both considered mandatory reporters and should have filed a form with the state Department of Social Services.
But DSS officials said no complaint was ever filed on this case, and it wasn’t until months later, after being informed police were involved, that DPH opened an investigation.
Police said that they already had started an investigation into the allegations by the speech therapist against Farfan when the 9-1-1 call came in. Detectives from the Special Victims Unit led the investigation.
“The resident told investigators that after several disturbing encounters with Farfan, the resident decided to install a camera in their room,” police said. “Video from the recordings show Farfan alone in the victim’s room doing inappropriate things with the victim’s belongings.”
Western Rehab is facing more than $45,000 in fines from both DPH and the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for failing to report or properly investigate allegations that a nurse’s aide there had sexually assaulted a resident, records show.
Western is owned by an LLC called Senior Philanthropy of Danbury, according to financial documents submitted to DSS.
The company has hired the law firm of Murtha Cullina to represent it in this case and to appeal the fines and the immediate jeopardy order. Those appeals are still pending.
Western’s attorney told the CT Mirror that the company had no comment on the arrest.
Before the arrest, Denise Quarles, regional director of operations for Western, said facility leaders are devoting time and resources to appealing the “isolated incident.”
“We believe that when all the facts are evaluated, these findings should be reversed. The facility timely self-reported the serious allegation,” she said in a statement. “Moreover, the facility took immediate corrective action to address the matter and the plan was fully accepted by the Department of Public Health, including the immediate disciplinary action again the employee, even prior to the agency initiating a review of the matter.”
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Social Services confirmed the agency has not received any reports of a possible sexual assault at Western and that they have no investigation pending.