Assault at a family-run Vaughan centre for adults with difficulties
Assaults in York Region increased by 79 between 2015 and 2016. Recently, a Vaughan support centre for adults with disabilities remains open for business after police arrested and charged its owner and two family members.
The Hope Centre on Winona Drive was contacted by a journalist on Oct. 20. A self-identified employee said the centre was never shut down, not on Oct. 13, when York Regional Police ( YRP) executed a warrant, or any other day. “We’ve never been shut down,” the staffer said. YRP launched an investigation into the centre, which it said is an unlicensed day support centre for people with disabilities, in August after receiving a tip.
“A family member of one of the people that attended the centre brought it to our attention,” said YRP constable Andy Pattenden.
YRP said Giuseppe Morana, 41, of Kleinberg, has been charged with assault. Rosalina Panetta, 47, of Vaughan, is charged with fail to provide necessaries of life, assault and fraud. Onofiro DeFina, 27, of Vaughan, is charged with fail to provide necessaries of life, forcible confinement and assault. Three suspects have been released on bail, and a court date has been set for Nov. 17, Pattenden confirmed.