A former Connecticut state trooper, ironically with the Sex Offender Registry Unit, was sentenced Monday for the brutal rape of an 81-year-old woman in June last year.
Jeffrey LaPorto, 44, was terminated from the department due to misconduct which included inappropriate conduct towards women. In April, he pleaded no contest to first-degree sexual assault of the elderly woman.
The woman had been in town visiting her husband, who lives in a nursing home as he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. LaPorto was reportedly at the bar of her hotel, where they sat next to each other drinking.
Attorney’s for LaPorto claimed that she then invited the trooper to her room, but could not find her key. After he accompanied her to the front office to obtain a new key he escorted her back to her room. LaPorto claims that they then had consensual sex.
“The complainant then disrobed and had consensual sex with my client,” defense attorney Hubert Santos said. “He maintains, and the evidence supports, that this was a consensual sexual encounter.”
However, the victim claimed that LaPorto told her that he was a “very powerful” person and warned her not to report the incident, but the woman immediately called her son, who contacted the police.
“This has been an extremely difficult year for me because of your violent actions as a rapist,” the statement read by a rape crisis counselor at the sentencing stated. “The attack you committed … was both unwanted and violent,” the statement continued. The victim wrote that the rape was “painful, sick and repugnant.”
The victim suffered extensive injuries which required repeated medical treatment.
“Your abuse of alcohol and your mental health issues require supervision,” the judge told LaPorto at the sentencing hearing. “You need to have a better view of reality.”
LaPorto ended up taking a deal of 10 years in prison, but will only serve two with the remainder suspended, and 10 years probation. He will also have to register as a sex offender.
The elderly woman wanted the former trooper to receive a harsher sentence for his actions, but agreed to the plea deal to avoid having to testify in court.
Misconduct noted in LaPorto’s personnel file prior to his termination included: using his patrol car to pull over a woman who had turned him down for a date, driving his state police car to the home of another woman and making sexually suggestive comments to her, and leaving his patrol area to visit a woman with whom he’d had a relationship, The Hartford Courant reports.
An unofficial study by the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, found that 9.3 percent of all complaints against police involve sexual misconduct, the second highest complaint behind excessive use of force. The organization found 354 of the 618 officers under investigation for sexual offenses involved nonconsensual sexual acts, and that 51 percent of the acts involved minors.
A study done by Bowling Green State University concluded that police work is extremely conducive to sexual misconduct as officers perform many of their duties largely absent of supervision, regularly encounter vulnerable civilians and are susceptible to abusing their power, Truth Out reported.