More Sentences In State Hospital Patient Abuse Case - NBC Connecticut
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More Sentences In State Hospital Patient Abuse Case

The employees from the Whiting Forensic Division in Middletown are among 10 arrested in connection with repeated kicking, poking, and other abuse of Bill Shehadi, a patient in his 50s.

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    2 More Sentenced in Whiting Forensic Patient Abuse Case

    Two former employees of Whiting Forensic Division were sentenced on Tuesday for their roles in the abuse of a patient at the psychiatric facility. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019)

    Two more sentences have been handed down in a patient abuse case at Connecticut's maximum security mental hospital.

    It comes exactly two weeks after the first employee charged got prison time in a plea agreement.

    The employees from the Whiting Forensic Division in Middletown are among 10 arrested in connection with repeated kicking, poking, and other abuse of Bill Shehadi, a patient in his 50s.

    It was all caught on camera in the winter of 2017.

    Carl Benjamin got seven years in prison, suspended after six months, in his no contest plea agreement on a pair of charges of intentional cruelty to persons. He did not address the court.

    Willie Bethea received a two-year sentence, suspended after four months, for his no contest plea on the same charge.

    Bethea spoke about his involvement, “My actions were silly, they were juvenile, but at no time did I ever try to hurt Mr. Shehadi.”

    The victim’s brother, Al Shehadi, also spoke, “My brother is a sick man and he's not easy to deal with, that is a fact, but that fact is irrelevant in the context of the charges before us today, the videos are clear that my brother did nothing to instigate the abuse he received.”

    All told, the state put 37 people at Whiting on administrative leave in the Shehadi abuse case, and 35 no longer work for Whiting.

    Of those, 26 were dismissed or terminated, four resigned and five retired.

    Of the 10 employees charged in the case, seven are still in the process of either making a plea agreement, or taking their case to trial.

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