Southington man, charged in sexual assault of girl at graduation party, considering plea bargain

Published on Wednesday, 14 November 2018 16:27
Written by JUSTIN MUSZYNSKI

@muszynskiBP

SOUTHINGTON - A local teenager accused of sexually assaulting of a young girl at a graduation party in June 2017 could be looking to take a plea bargain. 

Dilan Howard, 20, of 224 Lawncrest Drive, has been charged with having sex with a girl who was so intoxicated that she had blacked out, according to court documents.

Howard, who is free on $5,500 bond, appeared Wednesday, in Bristol Superior Court, where his lawyer said he does not anticipate a judicial pretrial hearing will be necessary - which is generally the next step in the judicial process when a plea bargain is turned down. 

Howard is due back in court on Dec. 17, when he must decide if he wants to take the deal state prosecutors have offered. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree sexual assault and sale or delivery of alcohol to a minor. 

When Howard was arrested in March, the warrant in the sexual assault case was ordered sealed by a judge, but the affidavit connected to the alcohol-related case provides some insight into what happened the night of the allegations.

According to the three-page document, Howard, who was 18 years old at the time, two-16-year-olds and a 17-year-old were driven by an 18-year-old friend to a house party on June 20, 2017, on Pleasant Street, where some teens were celebrating their graduation from Southington High School. Earlier in the evening, the 18-year-old driver had bought a handle of Captain Morgan rum from someone.

During the party, the rum was left in a book bag outside the home, to hide it from the parents who were hosting the gathering. Throughout the party, the 18-year-old went out to the book bag several times and filled a soft drink cup or a water bottle with rum. He then shared it with Howard and a 16-year-old girl, the warrant said.

The girl later told police she believes she drank about 10 ounces of straight rum in an hour’s time. During the evening, she recalled asking Howard if he was trying to get her drunk, to which he replied, “yes,” according to the warrant.

The girl said she got so drunk that she eventually blacked out. She later woke up in the backseat of a vehicle with Howard, she told police. She was so drunk she couldn’t stand up without being helped. The girl told police that Howard told her they had had sex in the car, according to the warrant.

During the hearing Wednesday, the victim in the case spoke before the court and said she couldn't sleep for weeks after the incident. She said she fell into a "deep depression," thinking what happened to her was her fault, and that people have accused her of making up the allegations.

"I get nervous walking alone," the complainant said. "I carry mace around 24/7."

"I know my life will never be the same."

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or jmuszynski@bristolpress.com.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Southington Herald on Wednesday, 14 November 2018 16:27. Updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2018 16:29.