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Lawsuit: Hospital aide who supervised teen mental patient harassed her

A behavioral health assistant started an "inappropriate, abusive and illegal relationship" with a 17-year-old girl under his one-to-one supervision in the mental health unit at Eastern Niagara Hospital, according to a lawsuit the patient has filed against the hospital.

Timothy D. Laubacker, now 26, kept harassing her after her discharge from the pediatric mental health unit, according to the lawsuit.

During her hospitalization in September and October 2015, Laubacker "began the process of grooming (her) so he could later exploit her vulnerabilities for his own twisted gain," the suit says.

The girl sent Laubacker nude photos of herself in November 2015, according to court papers.

The former patient's lawsuit accuses Eastern Niagara Hospital of negligent hiring. Laubacker already had been arrested in Missouri on pornography-related charges when the hospital hired him in September 2014, according to the lawsuit.

A hospital spokesperson declined comment.

The hospital fired Laubacker in December 2015.

Earlier this month, Laubacker was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison on child pornography charges in a case involving a 13-year-old girl he tended to in the Niagara County hospital.

Laubacker, a 2010 Newfane High School graduate, pleaded guilty last July to enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and cyberstalking.

He admitted he sought explicit images from the 13-year-old girl, asking her for photos in Facebook messages during June 2015, when Laubacker was 22. The girl sent five photos of herself. Laubacker threatened to post them online unless the girl sent him a nude video of herself. She never did.

In the second count, Laubacker admitted to having photos of a former Newfane classmate, taken when she was 14 or 15 years old. He and Travis Guerriera, a fellow Newfane High School alumnus, sent 32 Facebook messages in May and June 2015 threatening to distribute those photos online unless the woman provided new ones. She did not.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary C. Baumgarten declined to comment on the case.

In her presentencing brief in federal court, she called Laubacker "a manipulative, unscrupulous and immoral bully who seized upon every opportunity to belittle and degrade teenagers with mental health issues and to try to extort pornographic images from women that he knew from junior high and high school."

Guerriera is scheduled to be sentenced March 14 on his guilty plea to possession of child porn – photos of former Newfane High School girls – and cyberstalking.

Federal court papers indicate Laubacker was arrested in April 2014 in St. Charles, Mo., where he attended Lindenwood University. A former girlfriend told police Laubacker had threatened to share nude photos of her, taken when she was underage.

Baumgarten said in a court filing that she didn't know about the St. Charles arrest until she obtained Laubacker's educational records leading up to his arrest on federal charges in August 2016.

The records showed Laubacker was fired as a residence assistant at the college as a result of the complaint. The complaint was dismissed, according to Baumgarten's statement, without the ex-girlfriend's knowledge or consent.

Laubacker, who earned a criminal justice degree at Lindenwood, was hired at Eastern Niagara as a behavioral health assistant in September 2014. The first local criminal complaint about Laubacker was made to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office in September 2015, Baumgarten said during an August 2016 bail hearing in U.S. District Court.

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