Connecticut Cop Accused of Sexually Assaulting Girl in Mentor Program

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014  |  Updated 5:19 PM EDT
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Cop Accused of Assaulting Girl in Mentor Program

Trumbull Police

Officer William Ruscoe has been arrested for alleged contact with two teenage members of the police explorers program.

Connecticut state police have arrested a 20-year police veteran who is accused of sexually assaulting a member of his department's youth program and sharing inappropriate texts with another.

Trumbull police said William Ruscoe, 44, has been suspended from duty.

Ruscoe served for several years as an adviser to the explorer program, which works with youth interested in possible law enforcement careers, according to a statement from Trumbull Police Chief Thomas Kiely.

The application for the arrest warrant says one alleged victim is now 17, and the other is 18.

Ruscoe's lawyer, Michael Fitzpatrick, did not immediately return a request for comment but told the Stamford Advocate that his client would be pleading not guilty.

The investigation into Ruscoe began in October, when a suspicious incident was reported at a high school in Tolland County.

The 17-year-old girl told police that she joined the police explorers program in 2011, when she was 14. Months later, her drill instructor, identified as Ruscoe, started sending inappropriate and flirty messages, the girl told police.

Then it escalated to Ruscoe asking the teen to send him photos of herself.

In all, the teen said she sent Ruscoe about 50 photos of herself, and Ruscoe sent her inappropriate photos of himself.

In January, police obtained a search warrant for Ruscoe's phone and met with him at the police station to retrieve it.

Ruscoe handed over his phone but said he did not want to provide the password or provide a written statement, according to the warrant application. 

Ruscoe's attorney also told police that his client did not want to be interviewed.

On Sunday, troopers met with the second alleged victim, who told police that she was "very intimidated" because of Ruscoe's position and she did not want him to get in trouble.

She told investigators she joined the explorers program in December 2012 and Ruscoe started sending her inappropriate messages in 2013. when she was 17.

She told police that she did communicate with Ruscoe but only after he was very persistent.

In the texts, Ruscoe allegedly wrote that he loved the girl and the texts progressively became more graphic and sexual in nature, according to police paperwork.

She told police that Ruscoe begged her to send him photos of herself and she eventually did, according to police. She also provided police with information about some encounters they had in June.

In one, Ruscoe took the teen to a beach in Stratford and gave her a silver bracelet with a heart-shaped charm that said "Made With Love," according to police. 

He also allegedly took the teen to a home he had moved out of. Once they were inside, he placed a gun on the counter and and was looking at her "in a threatening way that made her very uncomfortable," the warrant says. 

The girl told police that things became sexual and she kept telling him to stop. He also restrained her hands behind her back with handcuffs while in bed, police said. 

The girl told police she recalled one conversation in which Ruscoe said that if he ever got caught, he would go to jail and that he would kill himself if he went to jail.

Ruscoe was charged with second-degree sexual assault, third-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault and tampering with a witness.

The Trumbull police chief said he was "deeply troubled and concerned by the nature of the charges that have been presented."

Ruscoe posted bond and is due back in court on March 5.

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