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State Proposal Would Require Background Checks For Senior Care Workers

New York State Capitol in Albany (file / credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

New York State Capitol in Albany (file / credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A new New York state proposal would require criminal background checks to keep sex offenders from acquiring jobs at senior care facilities.

The bill proposed by state Assemblyman James Tedisco (R-Schenectady) and Sen. Kathy Marchione (R-Halfmoon) senior facilities to consult the NY sex offender registry for all employees.

Current law does not require the background check, which can be done at no charge to the facilities.

The lawmakers’ proposal comes after a recent sex crime at an Albany County home for adults. A convicted sex offender working at the facility is accused of improperly touching a 91-year-old woman.

CBS affiliate WRGB-TV, Albany, reported Richard Ragone, 64, inappropriately touched the woman at the Loudonville Home for Adults. He had been working as a maintenance man at the facility since 2008, but was fired when the incident was reported.

Ragone had been convicted in 1984 of raping and sodomizing a 43-year-old woman, and served a 25-year sentence in state prison. Assisted living facility owner Michael Levine told WRGB he was not aware that Ragone was a sex offender when he was hired.

The bill could be considered in the new legislative session beginning this month.

Do you think background checks are needed for senior care workers? Leave your comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)