NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A man who worked as a counselor at a Westchester County mental health center has been charged with raping a patient, Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said Tuesday.
Nelson Acevedo, 42, pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual abuse charges. Bail was set at $100,000 and he has been placed on administrative leave.
Prosecutors said between Feb. 1 and July 31, Acevedo engaged in various forms of inappropriate sexual contact with a patient while working at the Guidance Center of Westchester in New Rochelle.
Acevedo, who has a Master of Social Work, sexually abused the victim on two separate occasions during counseling sessions at the center, prosecutors said.
During another supposed counseling session at his home, prosecutors said Acevedo raped the victim.
Authorities said the victim was incapable of consent because the incidents happened during treatment sessions and that the victim was a patient and Acevedo a mental health care provider.
Prosecutors said a complaint was first reported to a 24-hour hotline at the state Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, which is meant to protect disabled New Yorkers.
After an investigation, Acevedo was later arrested by police.
“Children, the elderly and people with special needs are some of society’s most vulnerable. To have the same people who they seek out for help and protection exploit and abuse them is the worst type of betrayal,” DiFiore said in a statement. “The ability to quickly be able to report the abuse, as in this case through the Justice Center’s hotline, enables investigations to be launched, subsequent prosecutions to move forward and to ultimately hold the perpetrators accountable.”
Acevedo is due back in court on Aug. 19.
He faces up to four years in prison on the top charge if convicted.
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