A third former employee is now facing criminal charges for abusing residents at an East Hartford group home.
Stephanie Jones, 43, of 323 Tolland Street in East Hartford, was arrested Tuesday and charged with inciting injury to persons, according to police.
Jones worked as an assistant manager at a group home on King Street in East Hartford when the abuse took place, police said.
A search warrant from the case details some of the disturbing behavior Jones is accused of.
Co-defendant Angelica Rivera, who court documents show was caught on tape abusing a resident and was arrested last July, told police Jones was "the main leader and the worst person responsible for assaulting the residents," according to the warrant.
Rivera told police she saw Jones grab one resident's private parts and also rub his legs until his hair fell out while wearing gloves, the warrant states.
She also reported seeing Jones poke the man's bare feet with tacks and tie him to his bed and chair for long periods of time, according to the warrant.
The warrant says Rivera told police she saw Jones drag another resident by her hair and punch her in the face.
Jones was not home when we stopped by and she did not respond to our request for comment.
Rivera told police Jones encouraged workers to abuse the residents while making sure not to leave visible injuries. She also said Jones recorded the abuse and stored the videos on her home computers, the warrant states.
Police seized cell phones, laptop computers, tablets, camcorders, cell phones, DVDs and other items when they searched Jones' home. Some of the equipment contained the videos that ultimately led to her arrest, police said.
The group home is operated by Options Unlimited of Bloomfield, which now has new management, staff and training procedures, according to Lynn Warner, the company's CEO.
"We're just as horrified as the public by the abuse. We're thrilled with this arrest. I hope justice is truly served," Warner said.
After the abuse was discovered, the state Department of Developmental Services placed the company's homes on enhanced monitoring.
Although the monitoring ended in February, the agency is still keeping a close watch on the company's homes, according to spokesperson Joan Barnish.
In a statement, DDS Commissioner Terrence Macy said, "The vast majority of public and private employees provide the best of care to the thousands of Connecticut citizens with intellectual disabilities. But to the ones that don’t, I hope these arrests send a clear message – abuse of any kind will not be tolerated.”
Besides Jones and Rivera, another former worker is also facing criminal charges.
Jevaun Phillips was caught on tape abusing a resident, according to police. He was arrested in late May and will be in court later this month.
Jones is due in court July 1.
Rivera is currently awaiting a trial in her case.
Photo Credit: East Hartford Police