Law enforcement, advocates point to Brighton case as warning to senior citizens

August 13, 2019 09:13 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- Law enforcement and advocates for senior citizens are pointing to a Brighton case as a warning to senior citizens. 

A Monroe County grand jury indicted James Pascalar, of Rochester, for raping an 83-year-old woman in Brighton who he worked for. 


The indictment charges Pascalar with 75 counts of rape, criminal sex act, identity theft and a host of other crimes. We've learned he's served time in a similar case.

Pascalar was hired to do lawn and yard work, but Brighton Police Chief Mark Henderson says had Pascalar been checked out, he likely would not have been hired.

Pascalar is registered as a violent level three sex offender.

"So what I think happened here," said Henderson, "this perpetrator groomed his victim...under the auspices of providing a service..."

Records with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services shows Pascalar was convicted in 1996 for raping a 71-year-old woman.

"Once the suspect ingratiated himself with the victim, that allowed his master-plan to unfold," said Henderson. "No doubt in my mind that this was an intentional act and this person took deliberate action."

Paul Caccamise is Lifespan's vice president for programs. He says one out of 16 adults in Monroe County over the age of 60 will experience elder abuse. That includes rape and sexual assault. 

"The social isolation is a big risk factor especially for older adults who grew up in an era that was more trusting and more polite than maybe some of us younger people," said Caccamise. "And unfortunately it causes them to be more vulnerable."

Like Henderson, Caccamise says, do you homework. He also advises family members to get involved.

"One thing that you can do is contact the Better Contractors Bureau, it's also good to ask for references or look them up on the Internet if you have Internet access and know how to do that."

Deb Rosen who runs the Bivona Child Advocacy Center says the advice to older adults may be similar to the advice to children: Watch out for people offering closeness or material goods. She says make sure you know what's expected in return.

Rosen says predators groom older adults in the same way that pedophiles groom children.


Lynette Adams

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