© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Family of disabled molested boy to receive $3M from NYS

New York State is paying $3 million to the family of a developmentally disabled boy repeatedly molested by a staffer at a state-managed group home.
The case highlighted systemic problems in the care of the disabled, including a lack of staff supervision and training.

The former staffer - Stephen DeProspero of Rome, NY -  is now imprisoned at Attica Correctional Facility. He pleaded guilty to predatory sexual assault against a child in 2009 and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

In legal documents obtained by the Associated Press, DeProspero said the state home was a "predator's dream" because of the lax supervision of workers.

"I could have stayed in that house for years and abused him every day without anybody even noticing at all,'' DeProspero wrote in a handwritten affidavit obtained by the Associated Press.

According to legal documents, DeProspero photographed and filmed himself molesting the boy at least six times from 2005 to 2008, with some of the abuse occurring in open areas.

Michael Carey, an advocate for the disabled whose autistic son was killed by a caregiver in 2007, says the problems revealed in the case persist.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.