Rape case stems from NY hotline call
Associated Press | 8/14/2013, 2:58 p.m.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ A social worker at a Westchester County mental health center has been accused a raping a client in the first criminal case stemming from a new state hotline meant to protect disabled New Yorkers.
Nelson Acevedo, 42, a counselor at the Guidance Center of Westchester in New Rochelle, faces one count of felony rape and two misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse, authorities said. He pleaded not guilty Monday in city court, with bail set at $100,000. He's been placed on administrative leave from his job. A call to his attorney was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Guidance center staff first reported the allegations to the 24-hour hotline at the state Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, where the report was processed and the caller told to contact New Rochelle police, who investigated.
"The ability to quickly be able to report the abuse, as in this case through the Justice Center's hotline, enables investigations to be launched, subsequent prosecutions to move forward," Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said. Her office is prosecuting the case.
The center and hotline opened June 30. In a report after its first month, the agency said it was investigating 1,300 reports of neglect or abuse by caregivers, including 30 criminal investigations overseen by its own prosecutor, which resulted from 7,200 reports to the hotline.
Center spokeswoman Diane Ward said Tuesday other criminal cases are in the pipeline.
Prosecutors allege Acevedo on two occasions during counseling sessions at the state-certified facility had the victim touch him in a sexually explicit manner and on a third occasion at his New Rochelle residence, ostensibly during a counseling session, raped her. They say the victim, as his patient, was incapable of consent.