Willimantic Couple Accused of Sexually Assaulting 13-Year-Old

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police say the abuse was going on for 6 years. (Published Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013)

    A husband and wife accused of sexually assaulting a mentally disabled 13-year-old in a Willimantic home appeared in court today to face a slew of charges.

    Franklin Gelinas, 44, who is now homeless, and his wife, Tina Gelinas, 45, of 49 Memorial Drive in Willimantic, are accused of sexually assaulting the seventh-grade girl who is related to them.

    Both Frankin and Tina gave sworn statements admitting to the sexual contact, court records show.

    Police said the abuse began in 2006 and ended around February of this year, although the Department of Children and Family Services has been involved since 1995.

    A school psychologist said the victim functions at a first- or second-grade level and looks younger than she is due to a growth hormone deficiency, court documents show. Tina Gelinas is also mentally disabled.

    The victim and suspects live together along with two other "boys," as Tina Gelinas referred to them in a sworn police statement. One of those "boys" is her 21-year-old son and the brother of the victim, court records show. That son told investigators he also engaged in sexual behavior with the victim, according to court records.

    The couple was arrested on Dec. 3 following a police investigation that started in March when the DCF contacted authorities, police said.

    Court documents cite the DCF investigation as saying the victim approached a paraprofessional at the Windham Middle School to report the sexual abuse.

    Franklin Gelinas is charged with a total of six counts of first-degree sexual assault. He’s also charged with six counts of illegal sexual contact with a victim of under 13 and one count of second-degree sexual assault. He’s being held on a $500,000 bond.

    His case was transferred to a higher court for Gelinas' next appearance. Bond was set at $250,000 and a protective order has been issued.

    Tina Gelinas was charged with first-degree sexual assault of a victim under 10 years old, illegal sexual contact with a victim under 13, second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

    Her bond was set at $100,000 and she was released Wednesday on a promise to appear in court Dec. 20.

    Tina was placed in special education in the third grade, according to her defense attorney. The bail commissioner said she works at a Stop & Shop supermarket.