Richard Ragone, a Level 3 sex offender convicted in 1984 in the rape and sodomy of a 43-year-old woman and released from prison in 2000, started working as a maintenance worker at the Loudonville Home for Adults in the suburb of Albany in 2008, the year he came off parole, Albany's WNYT-TV reported.
Last November, police alleged Ragone went into a woman's room to change a light bulb and a witness said she saw him put his hands down the elderly woman's shirt and fondle her breasts.
Ragone was arrested Dec. 20 and was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail in the Albany County Jail for allegedly endangering the welfare of a vulnerable or elderly person, a felony, and misdemeanor sexual abuse, police said.
"The information about him certainly is out there if anyone had done any checking into Mr. Ragone, they certainly would have found that," Lt. Robert Winn of the Colonie police told WNYT-TV.
The Loudonville Home for Adults is not considered a nursing home but an adult care facility. Its website said it offers residents home cooked meals, social and recreational activities, laundry, transportation, 24-hour care and supervision, medication assistance, assistance with bathing and dressing. The New York state Health Department said it is not against the law for the home to hire a sex offender, but nursing homes and home care services are required by state law to do criminal background checks, WNYT-TV reported.
In a statement Thursday, the owners of the Loudonville Home for Adults said: "Ragone was employed in a non-resident care position. When we learned of the inappropriate contact with the resident he was discharged immediately and the home contacted law enforcement."