NBC 10 I-Team: Coventry man charged with molesting elderly hospice patient
Coventry Fire District chairman Frank Palin has been arrested in Massachusetts and charged with indecent assault and battery on an elderly and disabled patient.
According to a police report obtained by NBC 10 News, the alleged assault on May 19 was recorded by a surveillance camera in the woman's room at the Cornerstone at Canton assisted living complex in Canton.
Canton police said the victim is an elderly woman with dementia, under the care of Old Colony Hospice.
The woman's children called police after seeing the alleged assault on a video and audio recording taken earlier in the day. The family had installed a Nest camera in the woman's room to be able to monitor her.
The police report describes a man with a stethoscope entering the room, and eventually rubbing the woman's breast. It indicates the man asked the woman questions such as, "Does that feel good?” and “I bet you liked sex when you were younger.”
Police said the patient appeared to be "in distress" for the duration of the encounter.
Police identify the man as 67-year-old Frank Palin of Coventry. Palin works part-time as a nurse-practitioner for Old Colony Hospice.
Police said Palin told investigators he was examining a benign lump. According to the police report, investigators were not able to ask about the comments made during the encounter, before Palin called for a lawyer.
No one answered the door at Palin’s Coventry home Friday. He also did not return a reporter’s phone call.
James Almagno, who is the president of the Central Coventry firefighters union local 3372, called the complaint against Palin “particularly disturbing.” Almagno said it’s unclear if the board or residents will call for Palin’s resignation, but said “this situation has cast a dark cloud over the public’s perception of the district.”
Palin’s employer, Old Colony Hospice in Bridgewater, confirmed to the NBC 10 I-Team that the nurse practitioner is now suspended.
“The safety of those entrusted to our care is our top priority. We are taking this report very seriously and have been working closely with the Canton Police Department as they investigate this case,” said CEO and President Toni Eaton in a statement.