Former Connecticut Police Officer Who Sexually Assaulted Teen In Mentoring Program Gets 30 Months

| by Jared Keever

A former Connecticut police officer is now behind bars and will be for the next 30 months for sexually assaulting a teenager in his department’s Explorer program. But the sentence is only half the time the prosecutor had asked for in exchange for his guilty plea. 

A recent blog from Connecticut Postings reports former Trumbull police officer, William Ruscoe, appeared in court for his sentencing Jan. 13 and asked Judge Robert Devlin for a lighter sentence. 

Ruscoe, a 20-year veteran of the police force, was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at his home in the autumn of 2013. 

He pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault in October 2014, according to a story from the Connecticut Post at the time. State's Attorney John Smriga had negotiated a five-year sentence for the guilty plea.

The victim, who was never named in news stories, told state police investigators that she had been a member of the Trumbull Police Department’s Explorer program. The program, now known as the Cadet Post, is meant to train students and young adults, interested in a career in law enforcement, about the mission and objectives of the police department. 

The young girl told investigators that Ruscoe, who was a mentor in the program at the time, became flirtatious with her in March 2013 and expressed his desire to have a sexual relationship with her. She said the former officer began texting her and telling her that he loved her. Over time the messages became more sexual and graphic in nature.

In the fall of 2013 the girl said Ruscoe, with whom she had just worked security at an event, drove her to his home where he forced her to have sex with him. 

She said Ruscoe placed his gun on the kitchen counter of his home and ordered her to an upstairs bedroom to have sex. She said she tried to resist his advances but was intimidated by him.

“I was completely betrayed by someone I looked up to as a role model,” the girl told the judge at the sentencing hearing last week. “I still wake up in a pool of sweat after having a nightmare where I yell ‘stop’ and ‘no’ — the two words I yelled that night at him.”

Now 18 years old, she appeared in court to ask Devlin to apply the sentence that had been agreed to in the plea bargain. 

Smriga also told the judge he felt five years in prison was an appropriate sentence for the crime. 

“It's not that he (Ruscoe) just had a bad day, this was an action that was planned out,” he said.

“I stand here today humble, heartbroken. I'm sorry I turned your life upside down, I should have known better,” Ruscoe told his victim in court according to a recent Connecticut Post story.

He also asked Devlin to think of his children. 

“Please show them the justice system their daddy worked to uphold for nearly 20 years is also fair and compassionate,” he said.

In the end he sentenced the 45-year-old Ruscoe to only 30 months.

Upon his release, Ruscoe will be placed on 10 years probation and have to register as a sex offender. 

Devlin addressed Ruscoe’s victim and her family after sentencing. 

“I know you have really been traumatized by this situation,” he said. “But I ask you when you walk out of this courtroom, leave it here. There is a path forward for you and you have what you need to go forward.”

Sources: Connecticut PostingsConnecticut Post (October 2014)Connecticut Post (January 2015)

Photo Credit: Contributed photo via Connecticut Post, WFSB