Irondequoit, NY – NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced that a teacher’s aide employed by Easter Seals at its Kessler Center in Irondequoit has been arrested for allegedly physically abusing a person with special needs in his care.

Ryan Colf (DOB: 06/07/1986) of Honeoye Falls, is charged with:

  •         Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the Second Degree, a Class “A” misdemeanor;
  •         Attempted Assault in the Third Degree, a Class “B” misdemeanor;
  •         Menacing in the Third Degree, a Class “B” misdemeanor; and
  •         Harassment in the Second Degree, a violation.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred in late December 2016 at the Kessler Center in which the defendant allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing cuts and bruising.

Easter Seals programs are certified by the State Education Department.

“Workers at the Kessler Center provide specialized care to students with special needs,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning. “For an employee to disregard that responsibility and attack a student, as this defendant is alleged to have done, must be addressed.  The defendant will be held accountable for his conduct.”

Colf was arraigned before the Honorable Patrick K. Russi of Irondequoit Town Justice Court and released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to reappear in court on May 8.

Supervising Assistant Special Prosecutor Jennifer A. Whitman is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Justice Center Investigators Michael Sullivan and Michael Giaconia. Special Prosecutor Gunning thanked the Town of Irondequoit Police Department for its assistance in the investigation.

 

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center operates a statewide hotline which is staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week by trained professionals who receive reports of allegations of abuse, neglect, and significant incidents involving people with special needs. The Justice Center has authority to investigate these allegations and may also delegate responsibility for an investigation to the relevant state oversight agency.  An investigation may lead to both administrative and criminal remedies, when the evidence supports a finding that an employee or volunteer committed abuse or neglect.

The Justice Center is also dedicated to abuse prevention.  Such efforts are critical to advancing the Justice Center’s mission to support and protect the health, safety, and dignity of people with special needs. In collaboration with state oversight agencies and its Advisory Council, the Justice Center identifies and develops strategic prevention initiatives. These efforts have included guidance documents, tools and training for staff and other stakeholders to enable them to take a proactive approach to creating safe, supportive, abuse-free environments. 

  

Editor’s note: In compliance with Rule 3.6(b)(6) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, you are advised that a charge is an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  April 12, 2017

Contact: Diane Ward, Office of Communications

518-549-0200

diane.ward@justicecenter.ny.gov