Ex-lawyer guilty of raping his client
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.”