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Smart phone searches lead to rearrest of career sex offender

September 26, 2018

A career sex offender, who had been incarcerated since 1992 for raping a pregnant woman at the Connecticut College Arboretum, quickly acquired a smart phone upon his release from prison and began using it to search for child pornography and other sexually themed content, according to the Department of Adult Probation.

Wayne Frederick Treat, 68, who was living at a transitional housing program in New Haven, was on strict probation and did not have permission to have a smart phone. He was charged Sept. 21 with violation of probation and is being held in lieu of $150,000 bond at the New Haven Correctional Center. He appeared Tuesday in New London Superior Court, where several of his previous cases had been tried. 

Judge Hillary B. Strackbein continued the case to Oct. 26.

Treat’s history of sexual violence dates back at least to the 1970s, according to court documents and news stories in The Day’s archive. 

In 1973, he was convicted of three sexual assaults in Waterford and Montville in 1973.

In 1979, Rhode Island police charged him with dragging a woman out of her disabled car at knifepoint. The woman fought him off and was uninjured, according to a news story.

In 1982, he was convicted of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman while working as a cab driver. According to a news article, Treat picked up the woman at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, drove her to a secluded area off Greenhaven Road in Pawcatuck and threatened her with a knife before raping her. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for that crime.

Following his release, he started operating a prostitution ring and was charged in 1991 with promoting prostitution. He had scanned police arrest logs for the names of women who had been charged with prostitution and started a business called Fantasy Dating Service, according to a news story.

Judge Joseph J. Purtill called him an evil person when he sentenced Treat in 1993 to 50 years, suspended after 35 years served, followed by five years probation, for sexually assaulting the young mother at the Connecticut College Arboretum on Oct. 23, 1992.

A 23-year-old woman, who was several months pregnant, was walking with her 2-year-old daughter and 2-year-old niece when Treat grabbed the daughter by the throat and said he would kill her if anybody screamed. He dragged the woman and children into the woods and made the two children sit on a tree while he sexually assaulted the woman. He threatened to kill the children if the woman didn’t comply. Afterward, he attempted to strangle the woman with a rope but she fought him off. He fled when she screamed for help, according to news stories.

Treat’s probation officer, Jeffrey Mejias, wrote in an arrest warrant application that Treat was released from the Department of Correction on July 7, 2017, and resided at the January Center, a residential facility for sex offenders, until Feb. 3, 2018. He was discharged to the Project MORE Transitional Housing Program and was attending sex offender treatment on an outpatient basis.

On Sept. 6, Mejias and another probation officer conducted a field visit and observed the cellphone, which was not authorized. An initial search revealed numerous pornographic videos and searches for bondage, rape and pornography involving young teens. Treat also had been searching “little girls’ bathing suits,” “one piece swimsuits for girls,” “girl’s clothing” and “cute little teen porn,” according to the warrant application.

Questioned further about the cellphone at a Sept. 17 probation office visit, Treat admitted to having the device for a couple of months and said he had been searching pornography that included bondage and rape, according to the court document. He said he had searched for pornography involving minors out of curiosity and said he had developed an attraction to minors during his incarceration.

k.florin@theday.com

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