‘There is something very wrong here’: Mayor questions handling of sex assault accusations against fire captain, police sergeant

Echo Hose Hook and Ladder Company in Shelton. Photo courtesy of Echo Hose.

Echo Hose Hook and Ladder Company in Shelton. Photo courtesy of Echo Hose.

Contributed / Contributed

SHELTON — Mayor Mark Lauretti says he’s “dumbfounded” why prosecutors are not pursing criminal charges against two volunteer city firefighters who, according to a police report, have been accused of sexually and physically assaulting a woman.

Echo Hose Fire Capt. John Scollin and volunteer firefighter Matthew Perkowski — who is also a Trumbull police sergeant — were suspended last week pending an internal investigation into the alleged assault, which police said occurred on Sept. 6, 2020.

Lauretti and other Shelton officials said they were not notified of the incident until last week when Hearst Connecticut Media obtained a copy of the police report through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Scollin and Perkowski, who have not responded to requests seeking comment, have not been charged and the woman who reported the incident has declined to pursue the case.

“This is a travesty of justice,” Lauretti said Monday in an interview with Hearst Connecticut Media. “(The allegations) are so egregious. It is concerning … the lack of response by the state’s attorney’s office. I’m dumbfounded.”

In his report, Shelton Police Detective Richard Bango said he consulted with the Derby assistant state’s attorney who informed him that because the alleged physical assault occurred during the alleged sex assault, the matter would only be pursued if the woman pressed charges. Shelton police closed the case on Sept. 17.

Rebecca Barry, supervisory assistant state’s attorney for the Derby judicial district, could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Lauretti said after being notified of the accusations on March 8, he read the police report, which he described as “extremely graphic.”

In the report, the woman accused Scollin of assaulting her outside the Echo Hose firehouse before they went to Perkowski’s Shelton home where she said both men physically and sexually assaulted her.

Shelton Board of Fire Commissioners Chairman Michael Maglione and other Shelton officials said they were not aware of the alleged incident until they were contacted last week by Hearst Connecticut Media.

Maglione said action was taken “as soon as we became aware of this.”

Shelton Police Chief Shawn Sequeira said city fire department officials were not notified because Scollin and Perkowski did not disclose they were firefighters.

However, Bango stated in the first paragraph of his report that Scollin “is a member of the Echo Hose Fire Department.”

Bango noted in the report the Trumbull Police Department was notified about the woman’s accusations involving Perkowski.

Trumbull police conducted an internal investigation that resulted in Police Chief Michael Lombardo suspending Perkowski for 15 days. When reached by Hearst Connecticut Media, Lombardo said he could not comment on a pending personnel matter, saying only that the incident occurred outside of Perkowski’s role as a police officer.

Perkowski appealed through a union grievance, but the Trumbull Police Commission unanimously upheld the suspension on Jan. 21, calling the accusations against the officer “abusive and reprehensible.”

Perkowski has not served the suspension and has a pending appeal with the state Board of Mediation and Arbitration, according to a statement from his attorney, Gregory Cerritelli.

“I don’t understand the state’s attorney on this,” Lauretti said. “All I can say is that two separate municipalities see that there is something very wrong here. Everyone sees it … except the state’s attorney.”

According to the Shelton police report, the alleged incident occurred during the early-morning hours of Sept. 6, 2020.

In the report, Bango said he interviewed the woman at Griffin Hospital in Derby around 5:30 p.m. Sept. 6, and photographed numerous injuries, including bite marks on her breast, lower torso and buttocks, bruises on her face, knees, shins and buttocks, cuts on her lips and a scratch along the center of her back, the report stated. Bango said medical reports also listed bruising on both inner thighs.

In a recorded interview with Bango, the woman said Scollin began calling and texting around 1 a.m. Sept. 6, saying he had been drinking and asking to see her to have sex, the report stated.

The woman said she agreed to drive Scollin to the Echo Hose firehouse where she parked on the side of the building, the report said. Over the next two hours inside her car, the woman said Scollin had her do “weird things that she has never done before,” according to the report.

According to the report, the woman said “it started to cross the line when he began slapping her during sex.”

The woman said Scollin began slapping her increasingly hard, pulled her hair and threatened to choke her until she “passes out” while forcing her to perform a sex act, according to the report.

Scollin then suggested going to Perkowski’s house for a “threesome,” but the woman said “absolutely not,” according to the report. However, the woman said she agreed to drive Scollin to Perkowski’s home, the report said.

Once inside the house, the woman said she agreed to have sex with Scollin, though Perkowski, who she said was also drunk, eventually joined them, the report said.

The woman said she never met Perkowski before and refused to have sex with him, according to the report. But when she attempted to leave, Scollin picked her up and put her on his friend’s lap, the report said.

The woman said Scollin told Perkowski to hit her, encouraging his friend to repeatedly slap her harder, the report said.

“Perkowski slapped her so hard that she fell off him and she could not hear out of her left ear,” Bango wrote in the report. A medical exam later revealed the woman suffered a ruptured left eardrum, the report said.

The woman said the two men continued to sexually assault her, the report said. According to the woman, she “said no multiple times during the sex, but they were two big guys and they ignored her and made her do things,” the report stated.