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Peabody woman, 90, was ‘screaming for help’ during alleged assault by home health aide, DA says

A 90-year-old Peabody woman could be heard “screaming for help” in her home Thursday when a live-in health aide allegedly assaulted her after the nonagenarian accused her of being impaired on the job, prosecutors said.

The worker, Sophonie Fidele, 27, was arraigned Friday in Peabody District Court on charges of assault and battery, assault and battery on a person over 60, and witness intimidation, said Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s office.

A not-guilty plea was entered on Fidele’s behalf, and she was released on $500 bail, Blodgett’s office said in a statement. Her lawyer didn’t immediately respond to inquiries seeking comment.

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Blodgett’s office provided details of the alleged altercation that occurred Thursday at the 90-year-old’s home on 59 Lynnfield St.

“Essex Assistant District Attorney Mike Varone told the court that Peabody Police and Firefighters responded to 59 Lynnfield Street for a 911 call as well as an open Life Line where an elderly woman could be heard screaming for help,” the release said. “The initial investigation found that the victim confronted the defendant about being ‘under the influence of something,’ when the defendant allegedly became angry.”

The woman tried to call her daughter, but Fidele allegedly took her phone away, according to Blodgett’s office.

“The victim then tried to activate her Life Line Bracelet, [and] the defendant allegedly grabbed her wrist and removed the bracelet,” the release said.

Authorities found empty liquor bottles in Fidele’s room and discovered that a commode chair hadn’t been emptied for several days, prosecutors say. Fidele, an employee of the Connecticut-based Family Care Plus, had been placed in the 90-year-old’s home as a live-in aide, according to the statement.

The company couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Family Care Plus says on its website that it serves clients in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine.

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“We are committed to providing a unique and customized approach to assisted living home care, providing families peace of mind,” the website says.

Fidele must abide by certain conditions while out on bail.

Those conditions include home confinement with GPS monitoring, remaining alcohol free and submitting to screens, staying away from the alleged victim, and not working with the elderly, Blodgett’s office said.

Fidele’s next court date is slated for Feb. 7.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.