Former cop sentenced to 10 years for sex assault

A former Trumbull Police officer, who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a teen in the Police Explorers program, was sentenced last Friday to 10 years in prison, to be suspended after 30 months.

William Ruscoe, who served with the Trumbull department for 19 years, pleaded guilty to sexual assault in the second degree. When he was arrested last February he was charged with sexual assault in the second degree, fourth-degree sexual assault and tampering with a witness. At the time, he was placed on administrative leave from the department and resigned on March 14.

In addition to to prison time, Ruscoe will get 10 years probation, according to the state Department of Justice.

According to the arrest warrant, the assault involved a student who was part of the Trumbull Police Explorers program and the incident occurred at Ruscoe’s Trumbull residence, where he used his handcuffs at one point, to restrain the victim. (Click here for our original story on the case.)

The investigation was launched in October 2013, after a different student in Tolland County told authorities about an inappropriate relationship she had developed with Ruscoe. She had met him at cadet camp and started a friendship with him in June 2012, when she was 15.

According to investigators at the State Police Major Crime Squad of Troop C in Tolland, which handled the investigation, the Trumbull victim said that “when Officer Ruscoe began communicating with her in a sexual way she was very intimidated because of his position and she was new in the post and did not want to get him in trouble.”

In fall 2013, Ruscoe allegedly drove the victim home after both had worked at a Trumbull High School event. He took her to a residence he had just moved out of in town, according to court documents. The victim told police she was afraid to go inside at first because she thought he would try something, but she eventually entered. Once inside, the victim said he placed his gun on the counter, while looking at her in a threatening way. He later assaulted her upstairs, despite her protests. The victim said she told Ruscoe no, “what felt like a thousand times.”

The Police Explorers program is described as offering direct experience in community police work for youth ages 14 through 21 interested in law enforcement.

First Selectman Tim Herbst commented Monday on the sentence, saying Ruscoe's actions were "a disgrace to the uniform."

Herbst said soon after the arrest, that the charges were a black eye on an otherwise outstanding department.