A registered nurse at Bassett Medical Center has been placed on unpaid administrative leave following his arrest on two dozen charges of unlawful surveillance, according to the Cooperstown Police Department and Bassett.
Anderson W. Lee, 27, of Cooperstown, was charged last week with 28 counts of unlawful surveillance following the discovery of a recording device in a limited-access, staff-only area of the hospital, Cooperstown Police announced in a media release. Bassett officials said Lee worked for the center for three years.
On Jan. 25, the judge issued two temporary orders of protection against Lee on behalf of the new complaints. Lee was arraigned in the Otsego Town Court by Judge Gary Kuch.
The Class B felony charges are under two different sections of the law, regarding a subject installing “a devise to surreptitiously view, broadcast or record a person dressing or undressing or the sexual or other intimate parts of such person at a place and time when such person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without such person’s knowledge or consent.”
The first set of charges is for using a device “for his or her own, or another person’s amusement, entertainment, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing a person,” and the second is using the device “for his or her own, or another person’s sexual arousal or sexual gratification,” the law states.
According to a statement from Bassett Acting President Dr. William LeCates and Chief Operating Officer Ronette Wiley, the Bassett security team conducted a check of other staff-use areas in the hospital and clinic as well as patient areas the employee had access to, and found no other recording devices.
“When the suspect was arrested, he stated that he had only used the device in the employee area,” the Cooperstown Police release stated. The investigation determined that no patient areas were recorded. The investigation is continuing, police said.
No one else is expected to be charged, Police Chief Michael Covert said.
Lee was sent to the Otsego County jail on $100,000 cash bail or $200,000 bond. He is scheduled to return to the court for further proceedings on Friday.
A conviction for one count could result in a sentence of four to seven years, and being named to a sex offense registry.
“The security and privacy of our employees and patients is paramount,” the Bassett statement said. “Our focus is on continuing to support staff and the care of our patients. We are a community of caring and healing and what affects one of us affects us all.”