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A 49-year-old Norwich man proclaimed his innocence Tuesday as he was sentenced to two years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman he knew in Norwich in October 2012.
Larry D. Wright, who has been held in lieu of $200,000 since he was arrested in March 2013, had pleaded guilty to first-degree unlawful restraint under the Alford Doctrine. The plea indicated he didn’t agree with the state’s allegations but did not want to risk being convicted at trial and sentenced to a longer term in prison.
According to prosecutor Theresa Anne Ferryman and court documents, the victim and Wright had been drinking whiskey together before the woman went to sleep. She said she awoke to find Wright performing a sexual act on her and saw another man leave the room.
Police later located the other man, who said Wright had approached him and offered money to lie about the incident.
Against the advice of his attorney, Peter E. Scillieri, Wright spoke for several minutes during the sentencing about fabricated evidence and unfair treatment by police and probation officers. He said he was left with no choice but to plead guilty. He said also that he has used his time in prison to “engage in a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
“I still maintain my innocence,” he said. “(But) if this was to go to trial the evidence is stacked against me.”
Judge Hillary B. Strackbein noted Wright has 15 prior arrests and told him he needs to make the right choices in life. She said it would be great if he pursues his “religious bent.”
— Karen Florin