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By Sue Smith
On June 17, 2011 Robert Reinhardt was sentenced on charges of sexual abuse brought by 4 students from the Gunnery. Reinhardt had earlier plead guilty to 3 counts of sexual abuse in the second degree, a serious felony, and one count of risk of injury to a minor, also a serious felony. All the pleas involve mandatory sex offender registration.
NEWS: On June 26, 2015, Reinhart (50) was denied parole. He will continue to service his 9-1/2 year prison sentence at the Brooklyn Correctional Institute in Windham County, CT.
Atty. Smith addressed the court on behalf of 3 of Reinhardt's victims, all of whom have suffered long term consequences of the abuse. She continues to represent Reinhardt victims in the civil cases pending against The Gunnery. Under Connecticut's extended statute of limitations, victims have the ability to file lawsuits for childhood sexual abuse until they reach their 48th birthday (suits must be filed prior to reaching age 48).
Reinhardt, a former dean of The Gunnery, is a sexual predator who gained the confidence of male students and then gradually groomed them to accept his sexual advances. Many of his victims had vulnerabilities that made them susceptible to manipulation. He sometimes maintained sexual relationships with multiple victims in the same time period and some of his predatory activities involved more than one victim at a time. Like many predators, Reinhardt maintained a collection of “trophies” of his conquests. In his case, it was boys' underwear. The prosecutor on the case was Terri Sonnemann of the Litchfield State’s Attorney’s office, who worked with investigators from the Connecticut State Police and the State’s Attorney’s office in putting the case together.
Reinhardt's sentence is for 27 years, suspended after service of 9.5 years, followed by 30 years of probation. A failure to meet the conditions of his probation could result in Reinhardt being returned to prison to serve all or part of the original sentence. H would also be required to register as a sex offender. The 30 years of probation would commence upon his release from incarceration and would be of the “strict supervision” type where he would be monitored as to what he does, where he lives, who he associates with, and the like. Sex offender treatment is mandatory under the Connecticut strict supervision program. Under Connecticut law, felons convicted of Sexual Assault in the Second Degree must serve a minimum mandatory 85% of their sentences before they are eligible to apply for parole.
All the cases in which Atty. Smith was involved have been successfully settled.
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