Man gets 25 years in crime rampage
BRIDGEPORT -Before a packed courtroom on Friday a Trumbull woman - dragged out of her home in the middle of the night and raped - emotionally imploded.
“He climbed into my bed and I thought it was my daughter having a nightmare and I rolled over to her and then I felt the barrel of a gun and he said, ‘Get up,’’’ the woman sobbed. “I don’t feel safe anymore … my brain is broken… I feel like a loser… I’m 46 years old and I can no longer support myself and my daughter … I don’t want anyone to look at me.”
Many in the courtroom were overcome. A few left sobbing.
But across the courtroom Geraldo Maldonado sighed. He was waiting for his agreed 25-year prison term for the Trumbull crime as well as several others in Stratford and Bridgeport.
“This courtroom is completely filled with pain,” Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin lamented, looking out at people still dabbing their eyes with tissues. “Everybody felt it, just an outpouring. Why did this defendant do it? Because there is evil in this world, just plain evil.”
Then facing the 21-year-old Maldonado the judge continued, “You took a lot away from this woman and I am going to take a lot away from you.”
The judge then sentenced the Bridgeport man to 35 years, suspended after he serves 25 years in prison and followed by 15 years’ probation.
State’s Attorney John Smriga told the judge that from 2015 into 2016, the then 17-year-old Maldonado had gone on a crime rampage, all carefully planned.
“He used Google Earth to scope out the neighborhoods and plan his escape routes,” Smriga said.
In the early in the morning of Oct. 13, 2015 Maldonado broke into the Trumbull home.
Police said Maldonado dragged the woman into her backyard where he ordered her to pull he clothes off and get down on her knees. He then raped her, police said.
Maldonado was later identified as the assailant through DNA, police said.
The victim’s 14-year-old daughter appeared very prim and composed as she sat down in front of the judge to deliver her remarks - she had hidden behind some boxes in the attic as he mother was dragged screaming from the house.
“I held my favorite stuffed animal and I remember thinking to myself, “Don’t cry or he will find you,’’’ she told Devlin with an almost unnatural calmness in her voice. “I don’t have any friends and I get startled, a lot.”
Smriga continued that during the next few months Maldonado broke into and tried to break into homes in Stratford and Bridgeport.
On Feb. 2, 2016, schools in the North End of the city were put in lockdown after police said they chased an armed Maldonado following an attempted burglary on Sunnycrest Road.
In April 2016, Maldonado was fleeing police when his car crashed into a sport utility vehicle driven by David Anderson, 22, of Seymour, at the intersection of Barnum Avenue and Pembroke Street, police said.
The impact of the crash flipped Anderson’s SUV, and Anderson was thrown from the vehicle, police said. He suffered severe injuries to the head and died at Bridgeport Hospital, police said.
Maldonado subsequently pleaded guilty to aggravated first-degree sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, home invasion and numerous burglary and attempted burglary charges as well as misconduct with a motor vehicle.
Maldonado’s lawyer, Richard Silverstein, had quietly sat at the defense table through most of the hearing. And then he finally spoke.
“This is a dangerous world,” he said. “We see mass shootings and then we go to the weather. Something is very wrong with this world and I think its human nature. I’m not surprised that the mass shooter in California spent time in the Marine Corps because there is nothing more dangerous than a 17-year-old with a gun.”