2 plead no contest in psychiatric patient abuse case

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Two former staff members at a Connecticut maximum-security psychiatric hospital have pleaded no contest to cruelty charges in connection with a patient abuse scandal that led to the arrest of 10 employees.

The Hartford Courant reports Carl Benjamin, of Hamden, and Gregory Giantonio, of Deep River, recently pleaded no contest in Middletown Superior Court and will be sentenced in January.

They are the first of the 10 former workers to be convicted in the case. Charges remain pending against the others.

Related Content: 9 employees of Connecticut Valley Hospital face charges after allegedly abusing patient

Police say patient William Shehadi was subjected to numerous acts of abuse over several weeks last year at Whiting Forensic Hospital in Middletown, including being kicked and having food thrown at him.

The state agency that oversees the hospital fired nearly 40 employees in connection with the abuse investigation.

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