Employee arraigned for sexual assault
Victoria Bresnahan—News Editor & August Pelliccio—Photo Editor
Assistant Director of Residence Life Mark Parrott was arrested and charged with two counts of misdemeanor sexual assault in the fourth-degree and two counts of second-degree unlawful restraint, according to court records.
He was released from custody with the promise to appear in court, according to the Connecticut Judicial Branch website.
While the university pursues a Title IX investigation, Parrott is on administrative leave, according to Integrated Communications and Marketing Director Patrick Dilger.
Dilger stated in an email that Parrott has been working at the university since 2008. Parrott is also an alumnus.
According to the arrest affidavit, the incident began at about 7 p.m. on April 4, after the graduate open house. Parrott and the victim, a staff member, were riding an Adanti Student Center elevator down, with three other individuals who exited on the plaza level.
When alone with the victim, Parrott allegedly grabbed them from behind and locked his arms. The victim tried to get out of the elevator, pressing buttons and leaning forward, saying, “What are you doing? Stop, chill, alright, alright,” according to the affidavit.
Parrott told police, according to the affidavit, he had a joking relationship with the victim.
Parrott was not under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescribed medication at the time of the incident, according to the affidavit. Parrott stated he does not recall the victim saying “no” or “stop.”
Parrott let go, and the two exited the elevator, heading toward the Office of Residence Life in Schwartz Hall.
The victim told police Parrott allegedly grabbed them again in the office, held them against the door, and then pulled them down with him to his office chair. The victim said they clearly stated they were being held against their will.
The victim told police they could allegedly feel Parrott’s erection against their buttocks area during the incidents, according to the affidavit.
No other physical contact was reported, and after a few minutes of discussing an unrelated subject, the victim told police, they left the office.
Parrott stated to police he believed his behavior was inappropriate and submitted a written statement, according to the records, admitting that in both incidents he hugged the victim.
An attempt was made last week to reach Residence Life Director Rob DeMezzo, but he was unavailable for comment.
According to the university’s website, his position “supervises the upper-class residence hall communities, coordinates the educational and student development missions of the department, and assists with the selection, training and development of paraprofessional staff members.”
An email statement was released by President Joe Bertolino last week about the alleged incidents and the university’s disapproval of such behavior.
“I also want to reinforce that sexual harassment and sexual violence are not acceptable behaviors in our community and are violations of the law, University policies and the Student Code of Conduct,” Bertolino stated in the email.
Parrott is expected to enter a not guilty plea at the end of the month.
This article is has more information than the breaking news article already posted, “Staff member arraigned for sexual assault”.