Hicksville, NY – NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced that a Hicksville woman formerly employed by SCO Family of Services as a child care worker was arrested and arraigned on endangerment charges for allegedly abusing an adolescent in her care.

Lashea Jeffers (08/02/1989) is charged with:

  • One count of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent Person in the Second Degree, a class “A” misdemeanor;
  • One count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a class “A” misdemeanor;
  • One count of Attempted Assault in the Third Degree, a class “B” misdemeanor; and
  • One count of Harassment, a violation.

The charges stem from a December 2016 incident in which the defendant repeatedly struck a developmentally disabled youth. Another staff member witnessed and reported the incident.

“Workers at facilities like SCO Family of Services are well trained and hard working. Those few who ignore their responsibilities and instead choose to abuse vulnerable New Yorkers, as this defendant is alleged to have done, should be held accountable,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning.  “We are grateful to the staff member who brought the incident to light.  Without conscientious workers who report abuse when they see it, many instances would go undiscovered.” Gunning also thanked the Office of the Nassau County District Attorney for its support of this Justice Center led prosecution.

Jeffers, who is no longer employed by SCO Family of Services, was arraigned before the Honorable Judge Eileen J. Goggin of Nassau District Court who set bail in the amount of $1000 cash or $2000 bond. Jeffers is scheduled to reappear in court on June 23. Assistant Special Prosecutor Erin B. Gise is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Justice Center investigator John Mullins. SCO Family of Services is licensed by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services.

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center operates a statewide hotline which is staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week by trained professionals who receive reports of allegations of abuse, neglect, and significant incidents involving people with special needs. The Justice Center has authority to investigate these allegations and may also delegate responsibility for an investigation to the relevant state oversight agency.  An investigation may lead to both administrative and criminal remedies, when the evidence supports a finding that an employee or volunteer committed abuse or neglect.

The Justice Center is also dedicated to abuse prevention. Such efforts are critical to advancing the Justice Center’s mission to support and protect the health, safety, and dignity of people with special needs. In collaboration with state oversight agencies and its Advisory Council, the Justice Center identifies and develops strategic prevention initiatives. These efforts have included guidance documents, tools and training for staff and other stakeholders to enable them to take a proactive approach to creating safe, supportive, abuse-free environments. 

Editor’s note: In compliance with Rule 3.6(b)(6) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, you are advised that a charge is an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 19, 2017     Contact: Bill Reynolds (518) 549-0200