Norwich man charged with inappropriately touching child

A 61-year-old Norwich man appeared Monday in New London Superior Court on charges he sexually touched a 12-year-old girl in 2015.

Paul H. Shaffer of 13 Lost Acres Road pleaded not guilty to fourth-degree sexual assault and illegal sexual contact with a minor.

He posted a $50,000 bond following his arrest on Nov. 22, 2019, and made his first appearance Tuesday in the New London court where the district's major crimes are tried. He is represented by attorney Bryan Fiengo.

The alleged victim, now 16, resides in another town. The court has issued a protective order prohibiting Shaffer from having contact with her.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, her mother called the Department of Children and Families hotline in November 2018 after the victim disclosed being touched sexually by Shaffer in 2015 but was too afraid to tell anyone. The information was relayed to Norwich police, who began investigating.

The police received a second call in December 2018 from the child's school counselor, who reported the teen disclosed the sexual assault to her.

During a meeting with a trained forensic interviewer, the teen said Shaffer came up to her in the kitchen of his home, where she was cooking, and touched her sexually over her clothing. Afterwards, she said, he handed her a bag of chocolate and told her not to tell anyone what he did. She said it was the only time he had ever touched her sexually but he frequently talked about inappropriate topics with her.

Shaffer's next court date is scheduled for March 9.

k.florin@theday.com

Editor's Note: The headline of this version has been clarified.

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