A longtime psychiatric technician at the Sonoma Developmental Center pleaded not guilty in Sonoma County Superior Court this morning to committing a lewd act with a developmentally disabled patient last month.
Rue LeRoy Denoncourt, 53, of Sonoma, allegedly committed the offense on May 25 with a 39-year-old woman with the mental capacity of a 4-year-old in a bathroom at the center at 15000 Arnold Drive in Eldridge north of Sonoma, Sonoma County sheriff's Detective Cecile Focha said.
Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of indecent exposure around 7:30 p.m. Another employee at the center witnessed the incident and informed the center's Police Department, Focha said. Police then called the sheriff's office.
Denoncourt has been a psychiatric technician at the center for 27 years, Focha said.
Denoncourt's attorney Roy Miller said his client will voluntarily surrender his psychiatric technician's license and resign from his job at the center.
Judge Rene August Chouteau suspended Denoncourt's license for the duration of the prosecution of the case and signed a criminal protective order against him this morning. The order prohibits Denoncourt from contacting the alleged victim, who remains in the care of the developmental center.
Denoncourt is being held under $30,000 bail in Sonoma County Jail. Denoncourt is charged with commission of a lewd and lascivious act by a caretaker upon a dependent adult. The offense is punishable by up to three years in prison or a year in county jail.
The residential facility provides acute, nursing and intermediate care to people with developmental disabilities.