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Monday, April 28, 2008

Milford court official free on bail in sex assault case

By James Tinley
Register Staff
— A judicial marshal accused of trading doughnuts and cookies for sexual acts with a 19-year-old female inmate remains free on $1,000 bail after his arraignment Friday at Superior Court at Milford.
Manfred E. Vives, a lead judicial marshal, allegedly grabbed the breast of an inmate, who on several other occasions flashed her breasts and kissed another female inmate while Vives watched, in exchange for baked goods and sweets, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Vives, 39, of Ansonia, was arrested on a warrant charging him with fourth-degree sexual assault.
In a written statement to police Vives denied all accusations and said he was being targeted in retaliation for raising concerns about inmate and marshals’ safety because of staffing levels. The inmate said she flirted with Vives and willingly flashed her breasts for doughnuts and cookies while in the lockup in the basement at the courthouse, according the warrant affidavit.
The flirting allegedly began Sept. 12 and continued Oct. 23 and Nov. 6, the days when the 19-year-old was brought from York Correctional Institution in Niantic for court appearances.
There are no security cameras or audio recording devices in that section of the courthouse.
In a statement to police, the inmate said Vives reached through the bars and grabbed her breast after reaching in to give her an orange soda.
“He did not force me to do anything I did not want to do,” she said in a statement to police. “I don’t want to make a complaint and don’t want him arrested.”
But according to the warrant affidavit, she also said, “I was subject to humiliation and sexual misconduct right here in this cellblock.”
Authorities learned of the accusations only after the inmate asked another marshal for cookies.
She allegedly told him that she had previously flashed a marshal matching the description of Vives in exchange for food. That marshal went to his supervisor, who took a statement from the inmate, eventually resulting in the arrest of Vives.
Chief Judicial Marshal Louis A. Speringo Jr. said he could not comment while the case against Vives is pending.
Vives became a judicial marshal in 1999 and worked in the Bridgeport Judicial District. He transferred to the Ansonia-Milford district in July 2007.


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