Stratford education official charged with sexually assaulting teen
BRIDGEPORT - A Stratford Board of Education member was charged Thursday with sexually assaulting a teenage girl.
Robert DeLorenzo, 45, a Democrat who was elected to the board in November, was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.
“I’m shocked,” said Stratford Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson. “I really don’t know anything about it, and it is a surprise to me.”
Asked if DeLorenzo should step down, Robinson responded: “I’m sure it is a very difficult situation for him, but he is an elected official and it will be up to him to decide what to do.”
DeLorenzo’s term on the school board runs to 2021. In his candidate profile he described himself as a “Mentor to students in schools throughout the town and a coach.”
During DeLorenzo’s arraignment hearing Thursday afternoon, Superior Court Judge Kevin Doyle issued a protective order to DeLorenzo, who is married and has a son.
“You are to stay away from this child and not contact the child in anyway,” the judge told him.
“Yes, your honor,” replied DeLorenzo, who is free on a promise to appear in court.
The judge then continued the case to April 25.
“Mr. DeLorenzo adamantly denies the charges and he will fight as long as he can to exonerate himself,” DeLorenzo’s lawyer, Sean Barrett, said as they left the Golden Hill Street courthouse.
Police said DeLorenzo assaulted a 13-year-old girl on a number of occasions while she was living with him at his Sheppard Street, Stratford, home.
The girl, who is now in therapy, disclosed to a social worker in October that she had been sexually assaulted by DeLorenzo, police said.
During a subsequent meeting with a forensic interviewer, police said the teen disclosed that DeLorenzo had taken his clothes off, first began touching himself and then began touching her private area above and beneath her clothing.
She said that DeLorenzo told her he would kill her if she told anyone what he had done, police said.
When they confronted DeLorenzo with the teen’s allegations, police said, he denied assaulting her and claimed she was getting back at him for threatening to go to the police after she used his debit card without permission.
During their investigation, police said, they learned that the girl’s mother had previously made a complaint to the state Department of Children and Families and the New Fairfield police that the girl had disclosed to her in 2016 that DeLorenzo beat her. When the mother confronted DeLorenzo, he stated he would discipline the teen any way he wanted to, police said.