Warrant outlines rape case

Court documents released Monday reveal that the accuser of an East Windsor Police officer arrested last week on rape charges was a Yale graduate student, who alleged months of sexual and physical abuse in a complaint last year to University Police.

The arrest warrant states the student met with University Police last December to file a complaint against Rafael Crespo Jr., 29, with whom she carried on a relationship of several years. New Haven Superior Court Judge Richard Damiani kept all records on Crespo’s case sealed until the release of the arrest warrant on Monday, University Police Lt. Michael Patten said.

University Police arrested Crespo Friday on two counts each of first degree kidnapping with a firearm and first degree sexual assault, as well as single counts of threatening, unlawful restraint and assault. The accusations against Crespo represent the first student rape reported to University Police in two years, Patten said.

The warrant describes how Crespo allegedly coerced her to engage in sexual intercourse with him on several occasions, and prompted her to change residences out of fear for her life.

“The complainant said she could not be sure of the exact dates and times of incidents but said was constantly harassed and the victim of both sexual and physical violence,” the warrant says.

The warrant reported that one such incident likely occurred in the late summer or early fall of 2003 at the student’s apartment. Crespo allegedly became engraged and “slapped and punched the complainant” after listening to two messages left by male callers on her answering machine. Crespo then pushed and kicked the complainant, tore off her clothes, and proceeded to rape her on her mattress.

Another incident of sexual assault allegedly occurred in the student’s dorm room after Crespo spilled juice on himself. According to an affidavit, Crespo became angry, blaming the student for the spill and forcing her to have sex with him.

Crespo also allegedly threatened the complainant several times with his gun, saying he was going to kill her.

The warrant states the student made several visits to Yale University Health Services, the first dated Feb. 4, 2003, to seek treatment for injuries allegedly caused by Crespo, including bruises, a laceration, abrasions, depression and a severe wound to her elbow.

Police met with nurse practitioner Diane Paquette to review the student’s medical records last December, and Paquette concluded the student was the “victim of ongoing domestic abuse.” But the warrant also says nurse midwife Deborah Meredith, who also reviewed the complainant’s medical records, concluded her medical exams did not present physical evidence of sexual abuse.

“This was possibly because the complainant waited days and some times weeks before seeking medical assistance or treatment,” the warrant states.

Crespo allegedly contacted the complainant through e-mails after she filed the complaint, and that she saw Crespo parked outside her workplace on several occasions last month.

Crespo is free on a $150,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 22.

East Windsor Cpt. Bernard Duffy said Crespo was given administrative leave the day Yale Police arrested him at the East Windsor Police station and that the department is conducting an internal investigation into Crespo’s conduct.

Graduate School Dean Jon Butler said he could not comment on the specifics of the Crespo case, but advised students to immediately seek help if encountered with a similar situation.

“In violent situations, the first people to contact would be the police. Nothing could be more important than contacting the police for protection and safety,” Butler said.

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