NEWBURYPORT – A certified nursing assistant working at Port Healthcare in December was arraigned Friday in Newburyport District Court after staff accused him of inappropriately touching at least two residents. 

The nursing assistant, Washington Jean, 36, of Worcester, was charged with assault and battery on a person over 60 or disabled, and two counts of accosting or annoying another person. 

Judge Allen Swan ordered Jean held on $400 cash bail, which was posted by him minutes later. While awaiting trial, Jean must remain drug and alcohol free and stay away from and have no contact with his alleged victims. He is due back in court on June 8 for a pretrial hearing.

Jean was temporarily assigned to the Hale Street facility by an independent staff agency in late December as a result of COVID-19 staff shortages. A week into the job, on Dec. 29, Jean showed up to work in street clothes without proper COVID-19 protective equipment and under the influence of some substance, according to Newburyport police Inspector Dani Sinclair's report. 

While working his shift, he "hugged" two elderly residents and touched another patient in an inappropriate place, the report said. Jean was escorted out of the building an hour into his shift and his actions reported to police the next day by the facility's director. 

"(The director) stated he (Jean) is new to the facility and had only started working there last week as a temp. He was belligerent, embracing female residents and refusing to leave," Sinclair wrote in her report. 

Sinclair visited the facility a few days later and spoke to the alleged victims who confirmed the director's account of what happened that night. Sinclair also spoke to the staffing agency that sent Jean. The director there said she received a call from Port Healthcare on Dec. 30 to report the alleged incident and soon after fired Jean. 

"There had been no previous complaints on his record," Sinclair wrote in her report. 

Sinclair also spoke to the director of the last long-term health care facility where Jean worked. The director told Sinclair that at first they were impressed with Jean and how he got along with residents there. However, he soon was caught with alcohol on his breath while on the job. Jean stormed out of that facility and drove out of the parking lot in a hurry. A short time later he was placed in protective custody by Wrentham police. 

"She let the agency know they would not need his services anymore," Sinclair wrote in her report. 

Dave Rogers is a staff writer with The Daily News. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

 

 

 

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