Ex-lawyer guilty of rap­ing his client

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Kait­lyn Foti kfoti@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @kait­lyn­foti on Twit­ter

NOR­RIS­TOWN >> For­mer Nor­ris­town de­fense at­tor­ney Vin­cent Cir­illo Jr. was convicted Wed­nes­day of all charges stem­ming from an Au­gust 2015 rape of a client while she was un­con­scious.

The ver­dict came af­ter a jury of six men and six women de­lib­er­ated for more than six hours fol­low­ing five days of tes­ti­mony in a trial fraught with sala­cious ac­cu­sa­tions and char­ac­ter at­tacks from both sides.

Wed­nes­day morn­ing the ju­rors re­turned with the guilty ver­dict on felony charges of rape of an un­con­scious per­son, in­vol­un­tary de­vi­ate sex­ual in­ter­course with an un­con­scious per­son, sex­ual as­sault, as well as a mis­de­meanor charge of unsworn fal­si­fi­ca­tion to law en­force­ment.

“I’m cer­tainly sat­is­fied that the jury lis­tened to a great deal of ev­i­dence and clearly took their time to come to a very con­sci­en­tious but clear de­ci­sion on this case that not only spoke loud and clear to the de­fen­dant that what the vic­tim in this case had been say­ing all along was the truth, but also sent a mes­sage to him that they did not ac-

“It’s an open case and the de­fense and I will con­tinue to talk about the case as it moves for­ward. I think it’s se­ri­ous, stand­ing on its own mer­its, sep­a­rate and apart from the sex­ual as­sault case he was just convicted of.” - Mont­gomery County As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney M. Ste­wart Ryan

cept what­ever it was that he was try­ing to tell them,” As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney M. Ste­wart Ryan said.

Cir­illo was re­manded back into cus­tody fol­low­ing the ver­dict. He com­mented that he found the de­ci­sion “very un­for­tu­nate,” as he was be­ing led out of the Mont­gomery County Court­house by deputies.

“There’s noth­ing here that one can come to the con­clu­sion it’s a win. The pros­e­cu­tion did get their ver­dict that they sought, but un­for­tu­nately I think we have fam­i­lies that have been de­stroyed,” de­fense at­tor­ney Nino Ti­nari said.

The judge or­dered that a pre-sen­tence in­ves­ti­ga­tion and psy­cho­sex­ual eval­u­a­tion that were al­ready com­pleted due to an ear­lier re­voked guilty plea be up­dated be­fore sen­tenc­ing.

Ryan said that he would seek con­sec­u­tive sen­tences on the charges, which would amount to a lengthy state prison sen­tence.

“When you have an ex­am­ple such as this of an at­tor­ney so bla­tantly abus­ing that trust, it’s cer­tainly dis­cour­ag­ing,” Ryan said.

Dur­ing the trial, ju­rors heard ac­counts of events the night of Aug. 3, 2015 from the vic­tim, fam­ily mem­bers and eye wit­nesses and Cir­illo him­self. The vic­tim said that she “blacked out” around 9 p.m. af­ter hav­ing a few drinks dur­ing a meet­ing with Cir­illo, and could not re­mem­ber what hap­pened. Her boyfriend found her un­con­scious and nearly naked when he re­turned to her home later that night.

“No mem­ory is a good mem­ory,” the vic­tim tes­ti­fied that Cir­illo told her, when she asked him what hap­pened that night.

The vic­tim, a 22-yearold woman who hired Cir­illo to rep­re­sent her in child cus­tody is­sues, said that she asked Cir­illo to meet with her to dis­cuss those mat­ters at her home in West Nor­ri­ton that night. As the night pro­gressed, she tes­ti­fied, she had a few drinks, as did Cir­illo, once the vic­tim’s fa­ther and his girl­friend stopped by the home.

Af­ter be­com­ing dizzy and fall­ing down, the vic­tim was helped up­stairs to her bed by her fa­ther’s girl­friend, fol­lowed by Cir­illo. Then, Cir­illo was left alone with the vic­tim.

Cir­illo’s de­fense ar­gued that the vic­tim had been kiss­ing him and hug­ging him ear­lier in the night and that she was awake and “re­ac­tive and re­cep­tive” when he per­formed oral sex on her. Then, Cir­illo tes­ti­fied, she fell asleep.

“Our big night, we planned this. This is what she wanted to do,” he tes­ti­fied. “Then I end up plea­sur­ing my­self on her up­per left leg.”

Ju­rors were able to con­sider three dif­fer­ent ver­sions of Cir­illo’s ac­counts from that night. The first was a record­ing of a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Cir­illo and the vic­tim five days af­ter the as­sault. The woman met with Cir­illo to ask him what had hap­pened, and the con­ver­sa­tion was recorded in co­op­er­a­tion with in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

Dur­ing that con­ver­sa­tion, Cir­illo re­peat­edly con­firmed that he had in­ter­course with her.

Cir­illo’s state­ment to de­tec­tives dif­fered from what he told the woman, when he claimed that he never had in­ter­course with the vic­tim. He also told po­lice that she was still awake when he left her home that night.

The claim that the young woman was awake was mud­died by pho­to­graphs taken by Cir­illo, over a 25-minute pe­riod co­in­cid­ing with the as­sault, that de­pict the woman in only her un­der­wear in sev­eral po­si­tions. In the photos, Ryan told the jury, the woman’s eyes are closed and her head never moved.

He told the vic­tim in their recorded con­ver­sa­tion that he took the pic­tures to share with the vic­tim later, to show that she did not need to worry about get­ting preg­nant.

“Why would you have to prove any­thing to any­one af­ter hav­ing sex with them?” Ryan asked.

Cir­illo ini­tially pleaded guilty to the rape charge in Oc­to­ber, but re­scinded that plea be­fore his sen­tenc­ing hear­ing. Ti­nari said that it was im­por­tant to his client to give “his ren­di­tion of what hap­pened.”


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