Shelton lawyer pleads to 5 more counts in child sex abuse case
MILFORD — Convictions continue to mount for a Shelton lawyer who admitted that he repeatedly sexually assaulted a family friend he was tutoring over seven years.
Peter Kruzynski was back in criminal court Tuesday just a day after being sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for using his cell phone to entice the minor into sexual activity.
This time Kruzynski, 51, formerly of Shelton and currently housed in a Rhode Island federal detention center, pleaded no contest to five state charges which carry mandatory prison sentences of 10 years and nine months.
“This is one of the most disturbing set of facts the state has ever encountered,” Assistant State’s Attorney Amy Bepko told Superior Court Judge Frank Iannotti. “Not just because of the number of (sexual) acts... but also because the defendant used his professional position to coerce the victim into performing those acts.”
Bepko said Kruzynski was introduced to the then 9-year-old victim in 2009. Although 42 years old at the time, Kruzynski would “hang out” with the boy, taking him swimming in a community pool and helping with homework.
Bepko said he believes all the while Kruzynski was “grooming” the boy for future sexual activity, which started within months of their introduction.
When the victim tried to end the relationship in 2016, Bepko said Kruzynski threatened to publicize naked photos of him. He also warned that he’d use his position as a lawyer to damage the victim’s reputation and future career choice.
Kruzynski’s plea means he did not contest the prosecution’s evidence on charges of first, second and fourth degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and coercion. His record will contain guilty convictions.
No contest pleas are not allowed as evidence of guilt in a civil case, but on Monday, Kruzynski also agreed to settle a federal civil case brought by the victim for $215,000.
The plea-bargained deal struck between Bepko and Eugene Riccio, Kruzynski’s lawyer, calls for the defendant to be sentenced to 20 years in state prison suspended after 10 years served. Once released, Kruzynski would be placed on 10 years probation.
The deal calls for the sentence to run concurrently with the federal term.
Iannotti set Oct. 15 for sentencing — preferably by video conferencing with Kruzynski’s federal prison.
Immediately following Tuesday’s sentencing, Kruzynski agreed to an effective 25 year suspension of his law license.