SAUGUS — A 37-year-old Saugus woman was charged with caretaker abuse, larceny of a drug, and possession of a Class B substance in connection with an alleged theft of prescription medication from an elderly man in her care.
Rebecca Bowman was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court and released on personal recognizance by Clerk Magistrate Matthew Day on Thursday. She was ordered not to work with the elderly and to have no contact with the victim.
Bowman began working as a visiting nurse for a 70-year-old man in Lincoln, visiting his home three times a week to treat him in his bedroom, according to a statement from Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
The patient had been prescribed oxycodone pills to alleviate his pain. In April 2017, he began to notice that his pain medication pills were disappearing and that by the end of the month, he had fewer pills than he should have. As a result, he experienced extreme pain, according to the statement.
The victim began to suspect the defendant by December 2017 and on two occasions, following the Bowman’s visits to the home, the victim counted his pills before she arrived and after she departed. The victim allegedly discovered that after Bowman left, some of the prescription pills were gone. He notified police.
On Jan. 3, 2018, police set up a surveillance camera in the victim’s room and counted the number of pills in the victim’s possession prior to Bowman’s visit. After she left, police allegedly discovered that 14 pills were missing.
Video surveillance allegedly showed Bowman opening the pill bottle and removing the medication while the victim was not in the room.
Bowman will appear in court again on Sept. 20.
As part of her county-wide initiative to raise awareness about the risks and impacts of the opioid crisis for seniors, Ryan launched the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office’s Grandparent Program in 2016. The program educates seniors in Middlesex County about how to manage their prescription medication, keep medication safe from theft, properly dispose of unused or expired medication and identify signs of drug addiction in loved ones.
Ryan, who previously chaired the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office’s Elder Protection Unit, developed the program, recognizing that the impact of the opioid crisis on seniors is extensive and that seniors are often the most vulnerable secondary victims of the opioid epidemic, according to the statement.
For more information and resources on protecting seniors visit: middlesexda.com