April 7, 2016
Stephan E. Seeger, with whom was Igor Kuperman, for the
A. Chiarenza, assistant state’s attorney, with whom, on
the brief, were David I. Cohen, former state’s
attorney, and Paul J. Ferencek, senior assistant
state’s attorney, for the appellee (state).
Rogers, C. J., and Palmer, Zarella, McDonald, Espinosa,
Robinson and Vertefeuille, Js.
defendant, Rafael Arias, was convicted following a jury trial
of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General
Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1) and sexual assault in the
third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-72a.
In his appeal, the defendant challenges his conviction on
three grounds. First, he claims that the trial court
improperly denied his motion to suppress statements that he
made at the police station because he was not advised of his
rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S.
436, 478–79, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966).
Second, he argues that the trial court improperly admitted
evidence of uncharged sexual misconduct under State v.
DeJesus, 288 Conn. 418, 476–77, 953 A.2d 45
(2008), to show that he had a propensity to commit aberrant
and compulsive sexual misconduct. Finally, the defendant
argues that the trial court’s application of this
court’s decision in DeJesus and the relevant
revision of § 4-5 (b) of the Connecticut Code of
Evidence; see footnote 2 of this opinion; violated his right
to equal protection of the law under the state and federal
constitutions. We disagree with all three claims.
jury reasonably could have found the following relevant
facts. The defendant managed a dental office and hired the
victim, M, as a dental assistant. The defendant began making
inappropriate comments to M, saying that he would like to
kiss her lips and telling her how pretty she looked. He
frequently touched her hair, put his arms around her and
asked her out for lunch and dinner. Several months after M
started working for the dental practice, the defendant loaned
M $400 for car repairs. When M was able to reimburse the
defendant, she left a $400 money order on his desk enclosed
in a card. After the defendant received the card, he hugged
M, thanked her for repaying him and asked her to follow him
to his car because he needed to talk to her. M testified that
as she and the defendant reached the corridor near the
elevator, the defendant pushed her up against the wall and
started to kiss her. The defendant put his hand under
M’s shirt and grabbed her breasts and put her hand on
top of his pants. The defendant then put his hand inside
M’s pants and inserted the tip of his finger into her
vagina. M eventually broke free and went into the bathroom.
contacted the police the following morning. She met with
David Hudyma, a detective with the Norwalk Police Department,
and gave a written statement. The defendant later made a
written statement to Hudyma acknowledging that the sexual
contact had occurred, but claiming that it was consensual.
The defendant subsequently was arrested and charged with one
count of sexual assault in the first degree and one count of
sexual assault in the third degree. A jury found the
defendant guilty of both counts and the defendant now appeals
from the judgment of conviction rendered in accordance with
the verdict. Further detailed facts will be set forth
defendant first claims that the trial court improperly denied
his motion to suppress his statements to the police. The
following additional facts are relevant to this claim. Before
trial, the defendant filed a motion to suppress, claiming
that his oral and written statements to the police should not
be admitted at trial because the police failed to advise him
of his Miranda rights. During a hearing on the
motion, the state called Hudyma, who testified that he met M
the day after the alleged incident and obtained her
statements and the defendant’s cell phone number. When
Hudyma called the defendant to schedule a time to discuss
M’s complaint, the defendant stated that he was already
in the lobby of the Norwalk Police Department and that he was
ready to discuss M’s complaint. Hudyma met the
defendant in the lobby and brought him to an interview room.
Hudyma did not handcuff the defendant, tell him that he could
not leave or restrain him in any way.
and the defendant discussed the complaint for approximately
forty-five minutes. During the conversation, the defendant
showed Hudyma a text message on his cell phone. Because the
text was in Spanish, another officer took the cell phone for
approximately ten minutes to translate the text.
the defendant agreed to provide a written statement, Hudyma
brought him to a computer to type his statement and then left
the room. The defendant testified that he was not aware of
any officers being present while he typed his statement.
Hudyma emphasized that he did not close or lock the door to
the room as the defendant prepared his statement. Immediately
after the defendant signed his statement, Hudyma walked him
downstairs and the defendant left the police station. In
total, the defendant was at the police station for
approximately one hour.
defendant testified that he went to the police station to
discuss M’s allegations, but that he did not expect to
be asked questions. The defendant indicated that he had
sixteen years of education and had no difficulty with the
English language. He further testified that he passed several
officers, some of whom were armed, as he walked from the
lobby of the police station to the interview room.
the defendant’s testimony, the state argued that the
defendant was not in police custody when he gave his oral and
written statements. Rather, the defendant
‘‘voluntarily went to the police station to tell
his side of the story. . . . There was no compulsion here. .
. . He was not locked in a room or forced into any room. He
wasn’t forced to give a written statement. He
wasn’t forced to speak at all. . . . He was not given .
. . warnings [pursuant to Miranda] . . . because . .
. he was not in police custody.’’
counsel responded that when the defendant visited the police
station, he did not expect to be ‘‘bar-raged with
questions.’’ He claimed that when the defendant
found himself in an interview room being questioned by
Hudyma, he did not feel that he was free to leave, especially