Coventry firefighters arrested for sexual assaultPosted: Updated:
Two members of the South Coventry Fire Department were arrested Thursday and charged with sexual assault. On Friday, the department released a statement.
According to police, an investigation revealed Joseph Carilli, 53, and Joe Fragoso, 35, had been having sexual relations with members of the Coventry Volunteer Firefighter Association's junior firefighter program.
The firefighters turned themselves in to the Coventry Police Department after learning there were warrants for their arrest. The warrants in the case have since been sealed.
"There may be other criminal behavior that we are looking into," said Coventry Police Chief Mark Palmer. "I can't really comment on the nature of that."
Sources told Eyewitness News police have evidence against Carilli and Fragoso that was captured on surveillance footage from fire department cameras and shows them acting inappropriately with junior members.
"We understand that the president has temporarily suspended the program," said Coventry Town Manager. "There is a junior program in North Coventry which may be an alternative for the interim."
On Friday, the Coventry Volunteer Fire Association, which has about 80 members and responds to more than 1,200 calls a year, released a statement.
"As a family, CVFA is greatly hurt by recent events; we remain committed to working hard to provide fire protection and emergency medical services to our community," the statement said. "We ask for your continued support for our crews in the field providing emergency services."
CVFA said following suspension, its junior program is being reviewed.
"These are difficult times for all involved," the statement said. "We appreciate your patience and continue to work diligently to serve the town's emergency services needs."
Carilli was the chief of the department from June 2006 to November 2012, after which he became the department's training officer.
Carilli resigned as chief but stayed on as a firefighter after being accused of harassing female employees at a local Dunkin' Donuts. They said he touched and talked to them inappropriately.
State records show Carilli served eight months in prison in the mid 1980s for a sexual offense involving a 14-year-old.
Carilli was arraigned Thursday. In court, the judge described the evidence against him as overwhelming.
Fragoso had been a fire lieutenant at the department since June 2012 and is a firefighter for the state agency Mental Health and Addiction Services, which is located on the campus of the Connecticut Valley Hospital.
Fragoso will be in court Feb. 27.
Eyewitness News went to the homes of both firefighters, who each recently resigned, on Thursday, but no one answered the door at either residence.
Eyewitness News went to a meeting with members of the South Coventry Volunteer Fire Department Thursday night, however police were called and WFSB was asked to leave.
However, residents reacted to the former chief's court appearance.
"It's just unfortunate that people like this can get into a state of authority or control other people," said Bret Giglio of Coventry. "If you have a previous record, you should not be allowed to even be in that position."
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