Woman offers to settle Trumbull police sex abuse case for $10 million
BRIDGEPORT — A young woman, who was sexually assaulted by a Trumbull police officer who supervised her in a program for teenagers, has offered to settle her pending lawsuit for $10 million.
The woman was 15 when police said Officer William Ruscoe, a 20-year veteran and supervisor of the Trumbull Police Department’s Explorer Scout program, repeatedly sexually assaulted her.
In documents filed Tuesday in state Superior Court, the plaintiff, represented by Cindy Robinson, offered to settle her lawsuit against the town of Trumbull for $2.5 million and her suits against Ruscoe, then-Police Chief Thomas Kiely and Officer Timothy Fedor, who was in charge of the Trumbull explorer program, for $2.5 million each.
“For years, it has been known that police explorer programs, such as the one in Trumbull, put underage explorers at risk for sexual molestation. Yet, Trumbull had inadequate supervision and allowed rules to be broken enabling Ruscoe, a police officer and program adviser, to have un-monitored contact with our client, who was a minor cadet in the program,” Robinson said. “Our client was drawn to the police cadet program because she always looked up to and trusted law enforcement. Instead, she was horribly deceived and continues to suffer emotional trauma from the abuse.”
In January 2015, Ruscoe, who resigned following his arrest, pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault in the case and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, to be suspended after 30 months.
He was recently arrested again and charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a young girl at his former Trumbull home in 2013 and 2014. That case is pending in state Superior Court.
Ruscoe, who is representing himself in the civil case, could not be reached for comment.
“As a matter of policy, we don’t comment on pending litigation other than to confirm that our clients deny all of the material allegations of the complaint and will defend this matter accordingly,” said Richard J. Buturla, the lawyer for Trumbull, Kiely and Fedor.
During Ruscoe’s sentencing hearing in 2015, the victim told the judge, “I was completely betrayed by someone I looked up to as a role model. 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.”
The teen told state police that Ruscoe expressed his desire to have a sexual relationship with her after she had taken her physical assessment exam with the scouts in March 2013.
She said Ruscoe began texting her that he loved her and described in detail things he wanted to do with her sexually, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
In mid-June 2013, Ruscoe picked the teen up at her home and drove her to a scenic overlook near Marnick’s restaurant in Stratford, where he gave her a silver bracelet that read, ‘Made with Love,’ and then tried to kiss her, the affidavit states.
On another occasion, the teen said, Ruscoe showed up drunk at her home and groped her.
The affidavit states that in the fall of 2013 after she and Ruscoe had worked as security at the Battle of the Bands event at Trumbull High School, Ruscoe had driven her to his Trumbull home. When she balked at having sex with him, the affidavit states Ruscoe plunked his service weapon down on the kitchen counter in front of her and then ordered her upstairs to his bedroom, grabbing his handcuffs on the way up the stairs.
Once in the bedroom he pulled off the teen’s cadet uniform and, over her many protests, sexually assaulted her, the affidavit states.
The affidavit states detectives found at least two dozen photos of the teen in various stages of undress on Ruscoe’s cellphone, as well as nude photos he had taken of himself.