Man cited for sex assaults on unconscious relative

NORTH FERRISBURGH — A New York man pleaded innocent on Monday in Addison County Superior Court’s criminal division to two felony counts of sexual assault, stemming from allegations he had non-consensual sex with an extended family member on two separate occasions while she was in a deep sleep while recovering from seizures.
Aaron Candido, 34, of St. Johnsonville, N.Y., faces a prison term of three years to life, as well as a fine of up to $25,000, on each of the two sex assault charges, if convicted.
A court affidavit prepared by Vermont State Police Detective-Trooper Patrick Slaney indicates the alleged assaults took place at a North Ferrisburgh residence on May 14 and June 20.
Authorities said the 22-year-old victim suffers from epilepsy, a neurological disorder marked by unpredictable seizures. The woman’s physician had told her to take a nap one hour after experiencing a seizure, a medical event that in the victim’s case had been known to last for 20 or more minutes, according to court records.
Candido happened to be visiting the victim in North Ferrisburgh on both May 14 and June 20 when she suffered seizures, according to Slaney’s affidavit.
The victim experienced her June 20 seizure at around 10 a.m. and it lasted for around 25 minutes, according to police. After waiting the requisite hour, the victim stretched out on a bed to rest, with Candido allegedly lying next to her while watching a movie, according to court records.
The woman told police she woke up from her nap to find her shorts wet, while feeling an unusual sensation in her private area, leading her to conclude she’d been assaulted, according to Slaney’s affidavit.
“She waited a few hours to report the incident because she was concerned about accusing her family member of sexually assaulting her,” Slaney wrote in his affidavit.
The victim reported the alleged incident to Shelburne police later that day. Shelburne officials turned the case over to the VSP’s New Haven barracks when told the alleged assault took place in Ferrisburgh.
Police said the victim, when interviewed, also recalled a similar experience that allegedly occurred on or around May 14, according to court records. The woman had fallen asleep after experiencing a seizure and said she’d woken up on her stomach in bed with her shorts “pulled up on the sides … and the front crumpled,” according to the affidavit. She told police her shorts were wet (she ruled out urine) and felt pain in and around her private area, according to police. The victim told police that Candido was lying next to her in the same bed when she woke up.
Candido denied having assaulted the victim, though he claimed he and the woman had had consensual sex in the past on “at least two occasions,” according to the affidavit. The victim denied that assertion, police said.
Slaney included in his affidavit “screen shots” of an alleged texting exchange between Candido and the victim following the first alleged sexual assault on May 14. That electronic exchange includes an apology from Candido to the victim, as well as an entry of, “Your hatred for me totally justified. Your lack of trust is too. Everything you feel is justified. I have never, never, never don’t (sic) anything like this before and I never will again.”

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