Man accused of leaving girlfriend with medical issues in chair for 2 weeks

Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 1:44 AM EDT
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CROMWELL, Conn. (WFSB/Gray News) - A Connecticut man faces charges of cruelty and abuse after he allegedly left his 61-year-old girlfriend, who has medical issues, in a chair for about two weeks and without food for several days.

Police said 66-year-old Steven Donen was charged with cruelty to persons, abuse second-degree and reckless endangerment second-degree, WFSB reports.

Police performed a welfare check at Donen’s home last Friday for his 61-year-old girlfriend, who has multiple sclerosis and gets dialysis. The check came after a medical office told police a patient had not shown up for eight appointments, officials said.

“While checking the welfare of the victim, officers discovered the victim was living in deplorable and unsanitary conditions,” Cromwell Police said.

Authorities found Donen’s girlfriend lying in a chair naked under a dirty blanket. They say she had not moved from the chair in about two weeks and had not eaten for several days. She had been using the chair to go to the bathroom, police said.

Police added there was a strong, foul odor and garbage everywhere.

The victim was taken to Middlesex Hospital for treatment.

Upon executing a search warrant, police found severe hoarding conditions.

Donen was arrested Monday and held on a $50,000 bond. He appeared in court Tuesday, during which a judge put a protective order in place that means Donen can’t have any contact with the victim.

“I am going to stick with what I said before, which is the allegations that are in the paperwork contain a lot of inaccuracies, a lot of misstatements and a lot of overblown statements,” said William Beccaro, Donen’s attorney.

Donen sent a statement to WFSB the day before his arraignment:

“Mr. Donen denied the charges; he stated he was caring for his sick girlfriend of over 10 years and provided her with food, beverages and care. He worked with her to try to get her the mobility to get to her appointments.”

Neighbors said that Donen has been living with his girlfriend for several years.

Cromwell Police have been to Donen’s home several times – back in 2015 for a medical call and four times after that for well-being checks.