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Thursday, May 7, 2009

[CT] Imprisoned ex-Officer Crespo is stuck with his conviction for repeatedly raping his ex


CONN. COURT UPHOLDS POLICE OFFICER RAPE CONVICTION
Hartford Courant
Associated Press
May 6, 2009
HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut's appellate court has upheld the rape conviction of an East Windsor police officer charged with sexually assaulting a Yale student. The state's second highest court Wednesday rejected the appeal of Rafael Crespo Jr., who appealed on several grounds including a claim the jury should have heard testimony on the victim's prior sexual experience. Crespo was arrested on Feb. 3, 2005, by Yale University police. He was accused of raping and assaulting his former girlfriend several times while off duty. Crespo was fired after his conviction and is serving a 14-year prison sentence. The victim had claimed that when she was first raped by Crespo she did not report the attack because he was a police officer and she feared he would retaliate against her. [LINK]

EXCERPTS FROM A COUPLE OF OLDER ARTICLES:

E. WINDSOR POLICE 'SHAKEN' BY OFFICER'S ARREST

Journal Inquirer
By: Mike Cummings
February 04, 2005
...Yale University police arrested Crespo at about 4 p.m. Thursday at the East Windsor police station on charges arising from a domestic violence situation in New Haven. Crespo, 29, was charged with two counts each of first-degree kidnapping with a firearm and first-degree sexual assault and single counts of third-degree assault, second-degree unlawful restraint, and threatening...

ALLEGATIONS OUTLINED IN RAPE CASE AGAINST OFFICER
February 8, 2005
By KIM MARTINEAU
Hartford Courant
A Yale student said she was raped in her dorm room last June by her former fiance, an East Windsor police officer, who became enraged after he spilled juice on his shirt... claiming that her former boyfriend had physically and sexually attacked her several times over the past year, as well as repeatedly threatening her with a gun, according to the warrant... Many of the woman's allegations were corroborated by notes jotted down by the nurse and psychiatrist at Yale who saw her over that time, the warrant states. Several rapes are described, along with a pattern of psychological abuse that led the student to shuttle from one apartment to another and, finally, to a dorm room as she tried to end the relationship... Crespo dragged her out of his car, hurting her elbow and breaking her sunglasses, while on a shopping trip to Milford. Wielding a gun, he threatened to smash her face and kill her, she said. That night, the woman stayed at Crespo's home in East Hartford. He went to work and became angry when he found her still at home when he returned, she said. He put her in handcuffs and threatened to drag her home to New Haven, she said. At one point, he kicked her in the stomach and she screamed, she said. Crespo's father woke up and came into the room. Eventually, both men drove her back to New Haven and dropped her off at work... Detectives confirmed that the woman had been repeatedly treated at Yale University Health Services for injuries arising from what she termed an abusive relationship, the warrant states. The woman had asked the nurse who treated her not to contact police, citing fear of Crespo's power as a police officer. The nurse told police the woman had bruising, depression and fear seen in victims of domestic abuse. She referred the woman to a psychiatrist who noted she was afraid of the man she was seeing but too frightened to end the relationship...
[police officer involved domestic violence connecticut]

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousMay 07, 2009

    EWindsor police 'shaken' by officer's arrest
    By: Mike Cummings, Journal Inquirer Staff Writer February 04, 2005

    EAST WINDSOR - Police Chief Edward J. DeMarco Jr. said Friday that he was unaware that Yale University police were investigating Officer Rafael Crespo until three hours before the patrolman's arrest.

    Yale University police arrested Crespo at about 4 p.m. Thursday at the East Windsor police station on charges arising from a domestic violence situation in New Haven.

    Crespo, 29, was charged with two counts each of first-degree kidnapping with a firearm and first-degree sexual assault and single counts of third-degree assault, second-degree unlawful restraint, and threatening.

    DeMarco called the arrest shocking.

    "We are a very proud, professional Police Department, and our dedication is rivaled by none," DeMarco said during an interview in his office Friday. "This has shaken our Police Department."

    Crespo, who has been on the police force for three years, was placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation into the circumstances of the arrest.

    DeMarco said Yale Police Chief James A. Perrotti called him at 1 p.m. Thursday and told him that a Superior Court warrant had been issued for Crespo's arrest.

    "The Yale University Police Department responded to the station, and we cooperated with them fully," DeMarco said.

    Crespo arrived at the station in uniform for his regular shift. He was allowed to change into civilian clothes before being interviewed by Yale police, DeMarco said.

    "This is an isolated incident that has nothing to do with his employment here or any incident that occurred at this location," the chief said. "It involves no other police officers here."

    DeMarco said he did not know if a department-issued gun was involved in the kidnapping with a firearm charge. But he added that the officer's department-issued guns have been confiscated.

    "I can't tell you what the specifics of the case are because I simply don't know," he said.

    Lt. Michael Patten of the Yale University Police Department said Crespo's arrest stems from an incident that occurred within the department's jurisdiction. He declined to give further details, saying the court had sealed the case.

    Crespo, an East Hartford resident, was released Thursday on a $150,000 bond.

    He appeared in New Haven Superior Court on Friday. His case was continued to Feb. 22.

    DeMarco said Crespo served in the Marine Corps before becoming an East Windsor police officer.

    According to police records, Crespo served a one-day suspension for insubordination in April 2004 for failing to obey an order from a superior officer to monitor a prisoner making phone calls in an interview room.

    The incident followed two similar infractions within a six-month period for which Crespo received written warnings, the records show.

    "He's a very calm, sensitive police officer," DeMarco said. "Other than the incident I've described, we've had no other situations. This is a definite shock." Sgt Michael Hannaford will conduct the internal investigation into the arrest with assistance from Detective Matt Carl.

    DeMarco said the investigation has no timetable but added that he expects Hannaford and Carl to be busy over the next couple of weeks.

    He did not know if the status of Crespo's suspension would be changed to unpaid leave at any point. Crespo's annual salary is $50,891.

    East Windsor has 26 sworn police officers, including 15 patrol officers.

    DeMarco said the department would do its best to cope with Crespo's absence.

    "At this point it is not causing us an overtime concern, but we are a small police agency," DeMarco said. "The smallest impact in personnel at this Police Department at some point is going to cause a dramatic impact."


    ==================================


    Police nab officer for sex crime
    Complaint from member of the Yale community leads to arrest of
    East Windsor police officer
    BY ANGELA TREVINO
    Staff Reporter
    Published Monday, February 7, 2005

    An East Windsor police officer was arraigned Friday on charges of kidnapping and sexual assault following a complaint from a member of the Yale community.

    University Police arrested Rafael Crespo Jr., 29, Thursday at the East Windsor Police Department, Yale Police Lt. Michael Patten said. He said police received a complaint from a member of the University community but would not say whether it came from a Yale student, faculty member or employee, or if the complaint was filed by the victim.

    "All the records about this case have been sealed by the judge," Patten said. "The judge sealed it to protect the privacy of the victim."

    Crespo, a resident of East Hartford, was charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, two counts of sexual assault in the first degree, assault in the third degree, unlawful restraint in the second degree and threatening in the second degree, Patten said.

    Under Connecticut law, a person commits kidnapping in the first degree if he abducts and restrains a person with intent to inflict physical injury or sexual abuse. As stated in the 2003 General Statutes of Connecticut, a person is guilty of sexual assault in the first degree if such a person compels another to engage in sexual intercourse by the use of force.

    University Police received the complaint several weeks ago and initiated an investigation, Patten said.

    East Windsor police chief Edward DeMarco said his office was notified of the arrest warrant Thursday and cooperated with University Police in arresting Crespo. Crespo was not on duty when the crimes were allegedly committed, DeMarco said, and none of the alleged crimes occurred in East Windsor.

    Crespo joined the department three years ago after a stint in the Marine Corps, DeMarco said. He was suspended six months ago for insubordination, the chief said, but has no other blemishes on his police record.

    "During my dealings with him he's a professional police officer that tends to come to work and do his job," DeMarco said. "He's not a problem employee.

    DeMarco said he did not know of any connection between Crespo and Yale or the city of New Haven.

    Crespo was placed on administrative leave with pay and turned in his firearm and badge. The department's internal affairs division will meet with University Police soon to learn the details of the case, DeMarco said.

    Crespo's bond was set at $150,000 at his arraignment Friday morning, a spokesperson for the New Haven Bail Commissioner's office said. He is scheduled to appear in court again Feb. 22.

    Prosecutor Maxine Wilensky, who handled Crespo's arraignment Friday, said she was not permitted to discuss any details of the case.

    University Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith and spokeswoman Helaine Klasky both declined to provide details of the case, including whether the victim had a connection to Yale.

    "We are working with all the relevant authorities in this matter and hope for a timely resolution," Highsmith said in an e-mail.



    ==================================


    Allegations Outlined In Rape Case Against Officer
    February 8, 2005
    By KIM MARTINEAU
    Hartford Courant

    NEW HAVEN -- A Yale student said she was raped in her dorm room last June by her former fiance, an East Windsor police officer, who became enraged after he spilled juice on his shirt, according to Yale University police.

    Rafael Crespo Jr., 29, a former Marine and three-year veteran of the East Windsor Police Department, was arraigned on rape and kidnapping charges Friday and placed on paid suspension pending the outcome of an internal investigation. An edited version of the arrest warrant outlining the allegations was released Monday by Judge Richard Damiani, a judge in Superior Court in New Haven.

    Crespo has proclaimed his innocence through the East Windsor Police Union, which is supporting him.

    "We know him as a dedicated, professional police officer and as an individual of upright character," union President Laurence Johnson, a sergeant on the force, said Monday.

    The student met with Yale detectives in December 2004, claiming that her former boyfriend had physically and sexually attacked her several times over the past year, as well as repeatedly threatening her with a gun, according to the warrant. The woman met Crespo one night at a downtown club. She thought she had nothing to fear: he was a cop and had a business card to prove it.

    The warrant, however, detailed a series of violent incidents between late 2003 and early 2004. Many of the woman's allegations were corroborated by notes jotted down by the nurse and psychiatrist at Yale who saw her over that time, the warrant states. Several rapes are described, along with a pattern of psychological abuse that led the student to shuttle from one apartment to another and, finally, to a dorm room as she tried to end the relationship.

    In one incident, Crespo became angry after playing back messages on the woman's answering machine. He called back the men who had left messages and shouted at them in Spanish, the warrant states. Embarrassed, she tried to intervene but was thrown on a mattress and told she was a "whore and needed to be treated like one," the warrant states. The woman said Crespo tore off her clothes, raped her and stayed in her apartment overnight.

    In another alleged incident, the woman said Crespo dragged her out of his car, hurting her elbow and breaking her sunglasses, while on a shopping trip to Milford. Wielding a gun, he threatened to smash her face and kill her, she said.

    That night, the woman stayed at Crespo's home in East Hartford. He went to work and became angry when he found her still at home when he returned, she said. He put her in handcuffs and threatened to drag her home to New Haven, she said. At one point, he kicked her in the stomach and she screamed, she said. Crespo's father woke up and came into the room. Eventually, both men drove her back to New Haven and dropped her off at work.

    In June 2004, the woman took Crespo to dinner on her birthday, according to the warrant. They went back to her dorm. He was taking off his clothes when he spilled some juice on his shirt and became irate, she told police. She tried to clean the shirt but he insisted it was ruined -and that it was her fault. She was too scared to say no to his sexual advances and was raped twice, police said.

    Detectives confirmed that the woman had been repeatedly treated at Yale University Health Services for injuries arising from what she termed an abusive relationship, the warrant states. The woman had asked the nurse who treated her not to contact police, citing fear of Crespo's power as a police officer. The nurse told police the woman had bruising, depression and fear seen in victims of domestic abuse. She referred the woman to a psychiatrist who noted she was afraid of the man she was seeing but too frightened to end the relationship.

    Crespo, who is free on $150,000 bail, is due back in Superior Court in New Haven on Feb. 22.

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