Friday, October 03, 2008

Sexual Predators on Police Forces

This is all too common Connecticut Police misconduct. The below is widespread in Connecticut. Is your state [this bad]?




NORWALK

By AMANDA NORRIS

Hour Staff Writer


Testimony began Monday at Norwalk Superior Court in the trial of a former Norwalk police officer accused of second-degree unlawful restraint and fourth-degree sexual assault.

Ray DeCamillo, 36, was arrested in November 2006 following a complaint from a 20-year-old woman who claimed that DeCamillo fondled her breast, lips and belly button ring during a traffic stop.

Two women, not victims in the case, told the court that DeCamillo had acted inappropriately with them while on duty. One woman stated he touched her hip and thong underwear in a bathroom stall at Norwalk High School in November 2005 when she was 17 years old.

According to an affidavit, DeCamillo had pulled the victim in the case over on Silvermine Avenue at around 3:15 a.m. on July 5, 2006 for talking on her cell phone, then directed her into a nearby parking lot. He then allegedly pinned her inside her car by parking extremely close to her own car, asked her for her cell phone number, and fondled her.

According to the victim's sworn statement, DeCamillo, who identified himself only as "Ray," asked her to pull into the parking lot while he was explaining how to "get out of a traffic ticket" to her. He waived another vehicle by and told her he "did not want his supervisor to see him." He then made sexual advances toward her, which she resisted by saying she had a boyfriend, and grabbed her breast, asking if she were "an all-natural girl."

According to the affidavit, Norwalk detectives checked the victim and her boyfriend's cell phone messages for evidence to corroborate their reported timeline of events. A firefighter on duty that night also stated he saw an officer stop a vehicle similar in description to the victim's, and surveillance cameras at a Shell gas station on New Canaan Avenue show that a cruiser flashed its light and followed a vehicle similar to the victim's northbound at 3:15 a.m., as the victim described in her statement.

DeCamillo was identified as the officer on duty in that patrol sector that night, and detectives matched the number the victim had with that listed for him on department records, the affidavit states.

DeCamillo served nearly two years as a patrolman before the incident, was fired from the department in May 2007 after Police Chief Harry Rilling found sufficient evidence to support charges of violation of rules of conduct, conduct unbecoming an officer and violation of truthfulness regulations.

Before firing DeCamillo, Rilling ordered that investigators revisit the 2005 complaint by the former Norwalk High School student. The department did not find "sufficient evidence" to press criminal charges following the student's complaint, according to Capt. Ernest Vitarbo, the head of the internal affairs unit, but the former student testified Monday before a jury of three men and three women.

Also, a Norwalk Hospital nurse testified that DeCamillo had responded to her complaint of a road rage incident in 2005. The woman testified that DeCamillo then came to the hospital while she was working later that evening to take her complaint about a motorist who had threatened her son while she was stopped at a light on Connecticut Avenue. While in a room in the maternity ward with her, DeCamillo commented on her appearance and asked why she did not have a boyfriend or husband.

DeCamillo then told her "she could get breach of peace" based on her description of the incident and "asked me if I had any tattoos." The woman told the court she untied her scrubs, lowered them slightly and showed DeCamillo that she had a tattoo above her hipbone.

The woman testified that she did not feel comfortable leaving the room because she did not know that the interview was over. She also said DeCamillo made her feel "uncomfortable" by commenting on her appearance and that she supplied him with free diapers and baby supplies because he had initially told her that his wife had given birth two weeks ago.

"He kept saying that I was pretty," the woman said. "He kept asking me if I knew him from somewhere."

The woman denied ever having met DeCamillo prior to the incident.

"Why didn't you just tell him you didn't have a tattoo?" Pelletrau asked.

The woman, who took the stand wearing scrubs because she had worked all night, responded, "Because I don't lie."

The woman testified that she complained to the police department in 2007 after reading press coverage of DeCamillo's arrest and firing.

The second witness alleged that DeCamillo was among a group of officers who stopped herself and her friend the night of the school's Homecoming Dance Nov. 10, 2005, when she was 17 years old. The woman stated that Sgt. Russell Fallo had approached her car when she and three of her friends were inside. She had consumed two beers by that time, and two of her passengers were smoking pot.

Sgt. Fallo told them to go into the dance, she said, but she was driving her friend to the parking lot of Dunkin' Donuts so that her friend could retrieve her dance ticket from her car when she was pulled over by Fallo. DeCamillo responded and was ordered to accompany her to the bathroom, she said, where he entered the stall with her, said he had "to search her" and told her to pull her pants down. He then touched her front right hip area and placed his hand on her thong underwear.

While he was walking her to the bathroom, she said, "He was grabbing me by the arm and holding me really tightly to him."

Once she had removed her pants, she said, "He told me to turn around" and she did not comply. DeCamillo left the bathroom very shortly thereafter, she said, when he heard a voice outside. That voice, she testified, was the school's principal Anthony DeDona.

Upon cross-examination, the defense called into question the woman's testimony on several points, specifically whether or not she had testified last week that she herself had been in possession of the marijuana she said two of her friends were smoking and had disposed of before she was pulled over.

Pelletrau claimed her testimony was inconsistent with last Monday's and was overruled by Judge Maureen Dennis, who reviewed the transcripts from that hearing. The witness said she could not remember several details as to the incident, including whether or not Sgt. Fallo had gotten out of his car when he spotted the group the first time in the school's parking lot.

The woman also testified that DeCamillo had responded to a motor vehicle accident she was involved in during May 2006. The woman said DeCamillo had asked her if he were out of line and told her that her complaining to the department about the Homecoming Dance incident had caused him many problems at work.

She also said that DeCamillo had pulled her over in the summer of 2006 on Fort Point Street for running a stop sign. She said she could not remember if the stop occurred during the day or at night.

When asked if that were the last time she had seen DeCamillo, the witness said, "Yes." However, during testimony at last week's pre-trial hearing, the woman said she had seen DeCamillo at Norwalk Superior Court following the traffic stop and that he had "stared at" and "winked at" her. She told the court that that was the last time she had seen DeCamillo.

Testimony will continue tomorrow and Wednesday. The jury was instructed that the testimony heard Monday was not to paint DeCamillo's character in any particular light but to establish intent and a pattern or scheme of criminal behavior.

DeCamillo's wife, Wendy DeCamillo, attended the proceedings.

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