Two state boards issued actions against licensees accused of sexual misconduct, Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck announced Aug. 18.
The State Board of Nursing permanently revoked the RN and LPN licenses of Frank Dellbeni of Plainfield, and the New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy temporarily suspended the license of massage therapist Jhon Cabrera of Paterson.
Dellbeni was arrested in January on charges of criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly touching a female student’s breast while chaperoning a school field trip as a substitute school nurse in fall 2019.
An Aug. 4 consent order prohibits Dellbeni from ever applying to have his licenses reinstated.
Cabrera was charged in March with criminal sexual contact after a female client at the Hand and Stone Spa in Hackensack reported to police that he had touched her breast during a massage. Cabrera was also charged in May with sexual assault for allegedly digitally penetrating a different client during a massage in 2016.
To resolve the Board’s investigation of the March incident, Cabrera agreed in a consent order filed July 28 to temporarily suspend his license until the criminal charges are resolved and the Board takes further action in his case.
The Office of the Attorney General in AG Administrative Directive 2021-3 unveiled reforms in April to address sexual abuse and misconduct among individuals licensed by the 51 professional and occupational boards and committees under the administrative oversight of the Division of Consumer Affairs, including the nursing and massage therapy boards.
Some 700,000 New Jerseyans are licensed by those boards, including physicians, nurses, psychologists, drug and alcohol counselors, and massage therapists.
The directive called on the division to work with the professional boards and committees to initiate specific changes and adopt best practices to address sexual misconduct through prevention, accountability, and victim support.
“The division has for years worked collaboratively with the boards to address issues that affect public health and safety, and combatting sexual abuse and misconduct is at the fore of our working relationship,” said Sean Neafsey, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, in a prepared statement. “We commend the Board of Nursing and the Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy for taking action to address the very serious charges against these licensees. We will continue working closely with the Boards to ensure that all licensees are held to the same strict standards and that allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct are addressed swiftly.”
In 2021, at least a dozen licensed professionals have had their practicing privileges revoked, suspended, or otherwise curtailed in connection with sexual abuse or misconduct on or off the job.