Jury views police interrogation at sexual assault trial

Harold L. "Monty" Waites may or may not decide to testify at his sexual assault trial in New London Superior Court, but the jury that will decide whether he is guilty of molesting two young girls will have already heard him tell his story.

On the second day of Waites' trial, the state showed the jury a videotaped interrogation of Waites conducted by New London Detectives Richard Curcuro and Christopher Kramer in the hours after Waites' arrest.

The state alleges that after a night of drinking at a friend's house on March 26, 2011, Waites, 41, went into the bedroom where two girls, ages 9 and 10, were sleeping and touched their private parts.

During the interview at police headquarters, Waites admitted he had gone into the girls' bedroom but said he only kissed one of them on the forehead and talked to them about going to IHOP for pancakes in the morning. He admitted he went back to the girls' room a second time, "for no certain reason."

"You're right. I had no business going up there and bothering them, and that's what (the parents) are going to say, so I know I'm never going over there again."

He adamantly denied molesting the girls, who were best friends having a sleepover. Both had testified on Monday, timidly answering questions about the alleged sexual assault. According to testimony, the host girl's stepmother had called police immediately after they shook her awake that morning to tell her of the incident. Waites was sitting in his car outside the home when police arrived.

Waites initially refused to be interviewed by police and invoked his right to an attorney upon his arrest. Later that day, he asked to speak to detectives and waived his right to counsel after learning the police had upgraded the charges. He was initially charged with two counts each of fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. The police added two counts of first-degree sexual assault after the alleged victims provided statements saying he had put his hands down their underpants and groped their private parts.

During the hourlong interrogation, the detectives told Waites he could help himself by being truthful with them and said they believed him when he said he had no intention of hurting the girls. The encouraged him to come clean and said they understood that drinking may have caused a lapse in judgment. Waites, anxious about being charged with such serious crimes, asked the two detectives what they could do for him and hinted that he could be helpful to them.

"Let me get on the team," he said. "Put me down. I can't go out like this."

When the trial resumes Thursday, the state is expected to offer DNA evidence that it contends links Waites to the alleged crimes.

k.florin@theday.com

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