DNA Links Hartford Corrections Officer to More Sexual Assaults: Police

DNA evidence links Grisales to two additional assaults, police say.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hartford police say DNA indicates that a corrections officer arrested last month for allegedly raping a prostitute is responsible for at least three similar incidents. (Published Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014)

    Hartford police say DNA indicates that a corrections officer arrested last month for allegedly raping a prostitute is responsible for at least three similar incidents.

    Kelvin Grisales, 30, was charged today in connection with a brutal attack on a prostitute in March 2012. He was initially arrested last month, accused of assaulting a woman on Huyshope Avenue in Hartford.

    “He’s charged with kidnapping, sex assault in the first degree and a myriad of other charges,” said defense attorney William Gerace, of the new charges brought Wednesday. “They’re very serious. They’re very ugly.”

    The victim in the 2012 attack told police Grisales picked her up near Park and Zion streets in Hartford and took her to a darkened area of Constitution Plaza, where he allegedly beat and raped her repeatedly, according to the arrest warrant.

    The case was closed until last month when a DNA match connected the Hartford case to two cases in New Britain. The two police departments formed a task force in an effort to identify a suspect.

    Police say Grisales is the man they’re looking for. He was arrested in connection with the Husyhope Avenue attack just two weeks after the task force was formed, and investigators called him in for questioning.

    “Man, I know my life is over right now,” Grisales is quoted as saying in the arrest warrant.

    The victim in the 2012 attack identified Grisales from a photo array, saying, “I am 100 percent that this is the guy that raped me,” according to the warrant.

    But Grisales’ attorney says his client has a different account of the incident.

    “He denies force,” Gerace explained. “He admits to the sex; there is DNA evidence, and perhaps video evidence.”

    According to the arrest warrant, Grisales initially denied involvement in the violence, saying, “I would never do something like that.” But police said Grisales ultimately confessed.

    Gerace acknowledged that his client may soon be spending more time on the other side of the bars.

    “I understand there are more cases coming down the pike,” Gerace said. “We’ll have to wait until they all come out and see where we are.”

    In addition to the sex assault charges, Grisales is accused of impersonating an officer, because the victim told police he showed her his badge, claiming to be an undercover officer.

    Grisales began working at the corrections facility in 2008 and has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of these cases.

    “If I believe my client, and at this point I have to, there was no force, no weapons and no compulsion,” Gerace said, adding that Grisales did admit to patronizing prostitutes.

    Grisales was formally arraigned today. Friends and family members wept when he appeared in court but did not comment following the arraignment.

    He’s expected to face charges in connection with the two New Britain cases as well. Grisales remains behind bars and is due back in court June 10.