A Port Jefferson Station nursing home worker was arrested and arraigned on felony charges Friday for photographing the feces-covered genitals of an elderly patient and then distributing the photo to a friend by text message, according to the New York State Attorney General’s office.
David Rover, 25, of Centereach, worked as a nursing aide at the Woodhaven Care Center in Port Jefferson Station in August, when he took a “humiliating cellphone picture” of a resident under his care, prosecutors allege.
In court documents, investigators said Rover sent the photo to a nursing student at the Ronkonkoma-based North Shore Career Training Institute. The photo was sent along with a message, which read “You would not want to do this job,” the documents said.
Prosecutors said nursing home officials were tipped off to the photo by a different student at the career institute. Court documents indicated that Rover admitted to taking and sharing the photo when he was confronted by the facility’s nursing director. Rover was fired from the nursing home after just two months.
A report published in Newsday, citing the attorney general’s office, said prosecutors are considering additional charges after investigators seized Rover’s cellphone and found photos and videos showing other patients at the nursing home being ridiculed or mentally tortured.
Rover was charged with two felony counts, including second-degree unlawful surveillance and first-degree dissemination of an unlawful surveillance image. He was arraigned Friday at First District Court in Central Islip and released without bail. A temporary order of protection was issued preventing Rover from contacting the victim, court records show. Attempts to reach Rover at his Centereach home on Sunday were unsuccessful.
When asked for comment, a woman who answered the phone at the Woodhaven Care Center asked “What do you want me to tell you?” before abruptly hanging up the telephone. In a follow-up conversation, a nursing supervisor who identified herself only as Linda, said she would not comment on the allegations.
If convicted, Rover faces up to four years in prison. He is due back in court on April 29.