Employee charged with molesting dementia patient at Naples senior facility

Published: August 20, 2019 2:14 PM EDT
Updated: October 25, 2019 6:51 AM EDT

A maintenance man has been charged with molesting a dementia patient at a senior living facility in Naples, according to a report from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office arrested Robert D. Ganassin, 79, of Naples after being accused of abusing an elderly patient at his place of work.

Deputies say an initial report was filed against Terrancina Grand Senior Living following a “suspicious incident against the elderly,” the report states.

The adult daughter of the elderly victim expressed much concern over the “numerous incidents” that had occurred in regard to her mother.

Deputies say the daughter told them a ripped off pair of Depends adult diapers that her mother wears were found under the bed as well as under the bathroom sink, on a separate occasion.

She claimed her mother suffers from dementia and “does not like to remove her clothing at any time.”

Ganassin was employed by the facility as a maintenance man.

According to the report, Ganassin was found in the victim’s room with the door locked on multiple occasions. On another day, he was found hiding under the bathroom sink.

The victim’s daughter told deputies that she had concerns for her mother’s safety, so she installed a CCTV camera in the residence.

The camera captured disturbing video showing Ganassin inappropriately touching the victim. Deputies say he was also seen attempting to sexually assault the victim, but she was able to prevent him from doing so.

CCSO says Director Tracy Hooks and other staff of Terracina Grand were contacted in regards to the case. They said an internal investigation was conducted, but found some inconsistency in one of the reported statements, so they closed the case.

Deputies said they contacted Hooks again this month and advised her of the recent investigation. Hooks also found that the camera system in the building had been tampered with. Once the system was restored, it was discovered that Ganassin was the only one entering or leaving the area right after the camera system was disturbed.

This past Sunday, Ganassin was made aware of the investigation and suspended from his job at the facility pending the outcome of the investigation.

In speaking with the responding deputy, Ganassin admitted to knowing that the victim suffers from dementia and said that he tries to help her. He denied ever having sexual relations of any kind with the victim.

Ganassin was arrested based on the probable cause developed during the investigation, according to the responding deputy.

Ganassin was charged with Lewd and Lascivious Molestation of an Elderly and/or Disabled Adult and Criminal Mischief, according to CCSO, and was transported to Naples Jail Center.

WINK News reached out to Terracina Grand in reference to the incident. Director Hooks released the following statement:

The safety and well-being of our residents is our highest priority. We are fully committed to providing a safe and caring environment for our residents. We are aware criminal charges were filed against a former employee of Terracina Grand. We are fully cooperating with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation. As investigation is ongoing, we cannot comment further.