Addiction-clinic counselor charged with groping patient

December 18, 2013
Updated 12:29 p.m.
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John Gaston
John Gaston

— A counselor at an addiction rehabilitation clinic is facing misdemeanor charges and accusations he fondled a patient.

John Gaston, 62, was charged with second and third-degree sexual abuse and forcible touching, all misdemeanors; and second-degree harassment, a violation, according to a release from the NYS Justice Center.

The newly-created Justice Center began operations this summer. It is charged with overseeing the care and treatment of people with special needs with jurisdiction over six state agencies including the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the Office of Children and Family Services.

A complaint filed in the case alleges Gaston touched the breasts and buttocks of the victim at St. Mary's Healthcare's Inpatient Addictions Rehab.

An investigation into the allegations began with a phone call to the Justice Center's new Vulnerable Persons Central Register Hotline, or VPCR Hotline.

The new agency will handle its own prosecution services with Justice Center Assistant Special Prosecutor Christina Calabrese, according to the release.

Gaston was arraigned in City Court and released on $1,000 bond.

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