Red Hook, NY – NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced an employee of the Cardinal Hayes Home for Children was arrested for endangering, assaulting and menacing a person with special needs in his care.

Daniel L. Dorsey (12/11/1976) of Poughkeepsie is charged with First Degree Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent Person, a class “E” felony; Third Degree Assault, a class “A” misdemeanor; and Third Degree Menacing, a class “B” misdemeanor.

The charges stem from a December 28, 2016 incident at a Cardinal Hayes facility in Red Hook in which the defendant allegedly slammed the victim against a nearby wall and threw him to the ground where he straddled and punched the victim. The victim required treatment for bleeding and swelling to his mouth and nose.

Cardinal Hayes Home for Children is certified by the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Dorsey, a Direct Support Professional, was arraigned before the Honorable Jonah Triebwasser of the Town of Red Hook Justice Court and released under the supervision of the Dutchess County Probation Department. Dorsey, who is scheduled to reappear in court on March 23, has been placed on administrative leave.

“Workers in facilities caring for individuals with disabilities are trained to deal with difficult situations.  For a worker to ignore that training and respond with violence, as this defendant is alleged to have done, cannot be ignored,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning. “This case came to light because a conscientious employee witnessed the alleged abuse and reported it. We are grateful to those who step up and call out workers who cause injury to people in their care.”

Assistant Special Prosecutor Rachel Dunn is prosecuting the case. Special Prosecutor Gunning thanked the Duchess County Sheriff’s Department, which assisted in the investigation.

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 24, 2017

Contact: Bill Reynolds (518) 549-0200