Thea Digiammerino

Former Harc Job Coach Accused of Sexually Assaulting Clients With Mental Disabilities

A former Harc employee has been accused of sexually assaulting two clients with mental disabilities while he was supposed to be supervising them as their job coach.

Connecticut State Police arrested 53-year-old Ricardo Marchand, of East Hartford, on sexual assault charges on July 6.

According to State Police, Marchand was an employee of Harc, Inc., an organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities. They offer programs from birth through adulthood.

Police said Marchand was working as a job coach in charge of supervising clients with mental disabilities during their job duties at the time the abuse allegedly took place.

The arrest warrant application claims that Marchand sexually assaulted two adult clients multiple times sometime between 2014 and 2017 while they were all working at the Allstate Records Retention warehouse facility in East Windsor.

Marchand forced the victims to have oral sex with him and with each other, according to the warrant. The warrant also alleges that he had anal sex with the victims.

Police said the victims were both adults but have the cognitive abilities of children.

The investigation began on November 2017, when one of the victims told his mother that he was sexually assaulted by his job coach. The 24-year-old victim, who police described as "high-functioning" but with the comprehension of a child, also told police that Marchand made him and another client watch pornography while they were at work, the warrant states.

The victim told police Marchand gave him money in exchange for the sexual acts.

The victim identified a second victim, who police described as being mostly nonverbal, also communicated to investigators that he was abused by Marchand, according to the warrant.

After the investigation, police arrested Marchand. He is charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

Harc released a statement to their community stating they are “deeply troubled” by the allegations and that the company is cooperating with the investigation.

According to the arrest warrant, Marchand was terminated by Harc after reports he physically abused a client, unrelated to the sexual assault investigation. There were no criminal charges in that case.

Marchand is currently being held on a $275,000 bond and is next due in court Wednesday.

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