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Sex for Cigarettes
July 18, 2010 permalink
Connecticut group home worker David Traverso coerced a teenaged girl into sex. As part of the bargain, she got cigarettes. Did the girl need to be in care to begin with? The last line of the story says that at age 18 she has returned to her real family. In this he-said she-said case, it is possible that the girl made up the story to get even with Traverso.
Sexual favor exchange for cigarettes may land former Litchfield group home employee 18 months in prison
LITCHFIELD — A former employee at a Litchfield group home, who police said had sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl in exchange for a pack of cigarettes, may serve between nine and 18 months in jail.
David Traverso, 34, of 708 Colony Road in Meriden, pleaded guilty in Litchfield Superior Court to second-degree sexual assault. Traverso was subcontracted to work at Touchstone, a residential facility that deals with Department of Children and Families clients, when he told a 17-year-old girl he would supply her with cigarettes in exchange for oral sex, Assistant State’s Attorney Terri Sonnemann said.
The guilty plea was submitted under the Alford Doctrine, meaning Traverso did not admit guilt but agreed there was enough evidence to find him guilty by a jury if the case went to trial.
The plea agreement calls for a 10-year suspended sentence with nine to 18 months in jail. Traverso’s attorney, Donna Candella, and the state’s attorney, Terri Sonnemann, will argue that length of time before Judge James P. Ginocchio at Traverso’s sentencing.
Traverso will also serve a 10-year probationary period and register as a sex offender for 10 years.
The incident, which occurred on July 11, 2009, was reported to the state police five days later. Another employee at the facility found the girl in possession of the cigarettes, and when he confiscated them the girl explained where they came from.
An investigation opened up on July 16 and Traverso was arrested in September. He reportedly no longer works for Delta T Group, the agency he was subcontracted through to work at Touchstone.
The alleged victim told police she was alone in her room when Traverso brought her the package of Newport cigarettes.
The girl reportedly felt pressured to do whatever Traverso wanted because he was older and in a superior position, according to the warrant. Traverso initially denied every aspect of the girl’s story during an interview with police, complaining that the girl asked him for cigarettes every day.
Sonnemann said Traverso admitted to digitally penetrating the girl, and he indicated he wanted to take her off grounds to have sex.
The girl is now living with a member of her biological family, the state’s attorney said.
Ronald DeRosa can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Torrington Register Citizen