Central Connecticut announced Friday morning that the campus police department failed to address an alleged sexual assault complaint a female officer made against her male colleague.
Chief Administrative Officer Richard Bachoo, who also manages the police department, has been put on paid administrative leave pending a “lengthy investigation.”
First reported in 2016, President Dr. Zulma Toro said in an email sent to all actively enrolled students, faculty and administration that there is “significant evidence” CCSU police inappropriately handled the incident, claiming that the university did not conduct an investigation of the report in a “timely manner.”
According to the information released by the university, former Chief Powell and Bachoo were aware of such concerns.
The investigation stated that the female officer who was allegedly sexually assaulted in November of 2016, made Lt. Edward Dercole aware of the incident, who then informed current Police Chief Gregory Sneed. Sneed then consulted Bachoo who is said to have conducted no further investigation. The incident was later reported to the CCSU Office of Diversity and Equity.
“I am deeply disturbed and saddened by the findings,” Dr. Toro said in an email sent out to students and faculty. “I want to assure our CCSU family and the public that the past environment, behaviors, and attitudes within the CCSU Police Department are not acceptable.”
Other findings from a Hartford law firm, Shipman & Goodwin, concluded a “fraternity-like environment,” “inappropriate gender labels,” background checks with “evidence of significant discipline or other disqualifying performance issues in [officers] past,” the police departments failure to have taken required sexual harassment prevention “seriously,” and a “concern that all shifts [were] not staffed with a ranking, supervisor officer.”
“While we look deeper into the concerns brought to light by the investigation, today I made personnel changes to mitigate future issues,” Dr. Toro said in her statement. “Among the immediate first steps, Bernard R. Sullivan, retired Commissioner of Public Safety and former Hartford Police Chief, has been hired to serve as CCSU’s Assistant to the President for Safety.”
Dr. Toro said that in addition to Sullivan overseeing the police department, Sullivan will also “be charged to identify and correct defective procedures, policies, and training, evaluate staffing levels and budgetary issues.”
“Indeed, these are very challenging times for us all,” Dr. Toro concluded. “I repeat my pledge to you that I remain absolutely committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure the CCSU campus is a welcoming, safe environment for all.”
No criminal charges have been filed at this point regarding the alleged sexual assault.