A 23-year-old man has turned down a state offer to plead to reduced charges in a case where he is accused of raping a woman in the bathroom of a New London bar.
Jose R. Pruett, of Ashcraft Road, rejected the offer in the New London Superior Court to plead to third-degree sexual assault and second-degree making a false statement. Had he taken the offer, Pruett would have been sentenced to six years in prison, suspended after four years, with 10 years of probation.
Pruett is currently charged with first-degree sexual assault and second-degree making a false statement, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 21 years. His case will be scheduled for a jury trial.
According to an affidavit by Detective Matthew Galante of the New London Police Department, a then 24-year-old woman said Pruett sexually assaulted her twice in the bathroom of O'Neill's Brass Rail on the evening of April 15, 2011. The woman said the incident occurred after she took part in an underwear/pajama fashion show and that she told a bouncer afterward. She also said she and Pruett had consensual sex at the bar in January of 2011.
When interviewed by police, Pruett denied having any relationship with the woman but said she had been making advances toward him. He later changed his story to say he had consensual sex with the woman at the bar on two occasions, including April 15.