State wants judge to hold sex offender without bail
By Patrick McArdle
STAFF WRITER | February 01,2013
BENNINGTON — The state is asking a judge to reconsider his decision to allow an untreated sex offender, who was found guilty by a jury on Wednesday of two felony counts of sexual assault on a developmentally–disabled woman, to leave the state until he is sentenced.
Warren A. Breed, 78, of Bennington, was convicted in Bennington criminal court after a two-day trial of felony charges of sexual assault with no consent and sexual assault on a vulnerable adult.
Sexual assault with no consent has a mandatory minimum penalty of three years in prison but Breed was released to the custody of a relative in New Hampshire. The sentencing hearing won’t be scheduled until the Vermont Department of Corrections completes a court-ordered pre-sentence investigation of Breed.
Bennington County Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Christina Rainville filed an appeal of Judge Cortland Corsones’ decision Thursday.
“The state is filing this motion on an emergency basis because (Breed), an untreated sex offender who preyed on a child-sized woman with developmental disabilities, poses a significant risk to the community. In addition, because the court permitted (Breed) to reside in New Hampshire, even after being convicted, the (state) is unable to monitor his whereabouts, his contacts with other vulnerable adults or anything at all,” Rainville said.
The state is asking that Breed be held without bail until he is sentenced.
Breed was arraigned in February 2012 after Detective Anthony Silvestro, of the Bennington Police Department, said he spoke with a woman who reported the sexual assault from 2007.
The incident was initially reported on Nov. 5, 2007, but police said at the time that when they tried to follow up, they were unable to contact the woman directly and learned she no long wanted to participate in the investigation.
Last year, the woman met with Silvestro and told him that she and Breed lived in the same apartment building. In June 2007, she said, Breed came to her door and told her he needed help with something in his apartment.
Once inside the apartment, the woman, who is of very small stature, said she had a sexual encounter with Breed and told police she didn’t act to stop him because she was afraid of him. The woman said she told Breed no at least three times.
Silvestro said when he spoke with Breed on Feb. 22, 2012, he initially denied the sexual encounter and other aspects of the woman’s story but later admitted they happened but maintained it was a consensual encounter.
According to Silvestro, Breed said he believed the woman “might be a little slow.”
On Wednesday, Jeff Rubin, who represented Breed, argued that the sexual encounter was “awkward” but consensual. He said the description of the incident, including the way the woman’s clothes were removed, indicated she was a willing participant at the time who later became embarrassed and changed her story.
The jury, however, of eight men and six women, deliberated for only a few hours before returning a guilty verdict on both counts.
In her motion, Rainville argued that Breed should be held without bail even though he is an older man with no prior record and no record of failing to appear at court proceedings because he was convicted of committing a crime at the age of 72 and his circumstances, which almost certainly involve a prison sentence, have changed.