Brooklyn, NY – NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced today the arrest and arraignment of a direct care worker employed by the Federation of Multicultural Programs for allegedly abusing an individual in her care. At the time of the incidents, the facility was licensed by the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). 

Sandra Cintron (DOB: 11/30/78) of Brooklyn appeared in Kings County Criminal Court on February 21, 2017 before the Honorable Laurie Peterson and was arraigned on the following charges:

  • Two counts of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, class “E” felony;
  • One count of Attempted Assault in the Third Degree,  a class “B” misdemeanor;
  • One count of Menacing in the Third Degree, a class “B” misdemeanor; and
  • Two counts of Harassment in the Second Degree, a violation.

Cintron was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court on April 21, 2017. She has been suspended from her position.

“Mistreatment of vulnerable New Yorkers in our care will not be tolerated,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning. “The Justice Center is committed to ensuring individuals with special needs are treated with dignity and respect. Those who choose to mistreat individuals in their care, like this defendant is alleged to have done, will be held accountable.”

The charges in this case stem from 2 incidents that occurred in November of 2016. The defendant is alleged to have repeatedly struck a service recipient with an intellectual disability in the head.  On another date, the defendant is alleged to have threatened the victim.

Justice Center Supervising Assistant Special Prosecutor David Kim is prosecuting the case. The investigation was conducted by Justice Center investigators Jessica Welker and Edgar Bourdon Special Prosecutor Gunning also thanked the Kings County District Attorney’s Office for  their assistance.

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center began operations on June 30, 2013.  It operates a toll-free hotline that receives reports of allegations of abuse, neglect and significant incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Anyone who witnesses or suspects the abuse or neglect of a person with special needs can make a report. Mandated reporters who have reasonable cause to suspect that a reportable incident has occurred by staff must report it to the Justice Center immediately upon discovery.  The Justice Center is not a first responder so if a report involves an emergency situation, the caller is instructed to hang up and dial 9-1-1.

The Justice Center is authorized to investigate all reports of abuse and neglect, pursue administrative sanctions against staff found responsible for misconduct and its Special Prosecutor/Inspector General shares jurisdiction with local district attorneys to prosecute criminal offense allegations. The Justice Center notifies local district attorneys of all potential criminal cases.

Justice Center Individual and Family Support Advocates provide guidance and information to victims, their families, personal representatives, and guardians about the reporting and investigation process, offer support during criminal court proceedings, and are available to accompany victims during interviews and court appearances.

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: February 22, 2017

Contact: Diane Ward, Office of Communications (518) 549-0200 diane.ward@justicecenter.ny.gov