A Hudson Valley man who worked at a local place that helped mentally disabled people is accused of sexually abusing a patient.

On Monday, the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs announced the indictment of a former employee of Gateway Community Industries in the Town of Ulster on charges he committed criminal sexual acts against a female resident in his care.

Richard Phillips, 63, of Newburgh was charged with four counts of a criminal sexual act, endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, felonies, and three counts of sexual abuse, a misdemeanor.

Phillips, a residential counselor at Gateway Community Industries allegedly engaged in oral sexual conduct with a female patient who was unable to consent due to her mental condition.

“Counselors have authority and influence over those to whom they are responsible for providing services, and as such, using that position of power as this defendant did for their own sexual gratification, is unconscionable,” Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning stated. “People who harm vulnerable New Yorkers will be held accountable for their actions.”

Phillips was fired from his position. He was released after posting $7,500 bail.

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