A Northampton lodging maintenance worker has been arraigned on charges of indecent assault and battery after he allegedly sexually assaulted a resident of the low-income housing complex.
The new owners of the property are taking action to make sure all residents feel safe on the property.
HAP Housing now owns and operates Northampton Lodging, where about 45 people live, depending on the day.
The sexual assault victim claims the incident took place over the summer.
Police responded to Northampton Lodging, the low income housing property on Pleasant Street, about 280 times this past year for anything including disturbances, drug and alcohol complaints, suspicious activity, vandalism, and harassment calls.
HAP Housing is looking to make some major changes at the complex, especially after a sexual assault complaint was brought to court.
"When it became clear to me that there was an incident that was reported, I went to police, I spoke with police, I cooperated with their investigation," said Faith Williams of HAP Housing.
According to a police report filed at Northampton District Court, a 64-year-old resident of Northampton Lodging felt violated after 56-year-old Thomas Kennedy, a maintenance worker at the lodge, came up behind her and pressed himself against her backside and swayed back and forth on one occasion last summer.
"In any property we manage, we often find that there are complications that arise between interactions between residents and we take whatever course of action that is appropriate at the time," Williams added.
Kennedy was arraigned in court on Wednesday.
Kennedy reportedly told police he did not touch the victim. There is also no video surveillance of the incident.
HAP Housing, however, is taking the allegations seriously and have hired a full-time overnight employee.
"[That employee] is there overnight in case anything like this ever occurs again," Williams explained.
HAP Housing said that police calls have slowed since the overnight worker was hired.
Kennedy is due back in court on February 11.
Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.