Malone, NY – NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced that a licensed practical nurse formerly employed by St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers in Saranac Lake pled guilty to sexual misconduct and drug possession charges.

Jessica Dresser (DOB: 10/25/85) of Plattsburgh, appeared before the Honorable Jerome J. Richards of Franklin County Court where she pled guilty to the following charges:

  • One count of Sexual Misconduct, a class “A” misdemeanor; and
  • One count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, a class “A” misdemeanor.

Dresser is scheduled to be sentenced June 23 in Franklin County Court, and she will be sentenced to 60 days in jail and 6 years of supervised probation. As a condition of her plea, she agreed to surrender her nursing license (LPN), and her name will be entered on the state Sex Offender Registry.

The charges stem from incidents in which Dresser engaged in sexual conduct with a person receiving in-patient treatment for an opioid addiction in February, 2016. On one of those occasions, Dresser gave the victim a controlled substance prior to the sexual contact. Under the state’s penal law, sexual contact of any kind between an employee and a resident at a facility operated, licensed or certified by the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) is a crime. St. Joseph’s is licensed by OASAS.

“The defendant not only violated the law to satisfy her own sexual gratification,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning, “but she also subjected the victim to a possible setback in treatment. People responsible for the care and rehabilitation of those who suffer from addiction need to know that disruptions in treatment caused by such misconduct will not be tolerated.”

Gunning thanked the Saranac Lake Police Department and the New York State Police for their assistance with the investigation and arrest. Justice Center Supervising Assistant Special Prosecutor Rachel Dunn is prosecuting the case.

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center has statutory authority to investigate and prosecute crimes against vulnerable New Yorkers. The agency also assists other law enforcement agencies -- such as the New York State Police, local police departments, and District Attorneys – with their investigations that involve abuse or neglect of people with special needs.

In addition to its law enforcement authority, the Justice Center is also empowered to pursue administrative actions against staff found responsible for misconduct. Workers found responsible for the most egregious conduct are permanently barred from employment at facilities serving vulnerable populations under the Justice Center’s jurisdiction.

The Justice Center operates a statewide, toll-free hotline for people reporting allegations of abuse, neglect, and significant incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To report incidents of abuse and neglect call 1-855-373-2122.

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: May 2, 2017       Contact: Bill Reynolds 518-414-1299