Cirillo’s legal troubles are far from over
NORRISTOWN >> While a jury determined his fate for one crime, convicting him of raping an unconscious female client, a former Norristown lawyer’s legal troubles are far from over.
Vincent A. Cirillo Jr., 57, convicted by a Montgomery County jury on Wednesday of rape and other sexual assault-related charges, faces another trial for allegedly illegally posing as the rape victim’s current lawyer to try to obtain confidential court documents pertaining to her from a Montgomery County Court office.
Cirillo, who had a law office on East Penn Street in Norristown, faces charges of identity theft, conspiracy to commit identity theft, forgery and falsely impersonating a privately employed person in connection with the alleged Sept. 21, 2016, incident.
Cirillo, of the 200 block of Hampden Avenue,
Narberth, who has pleaded not guilty to the remaining charges, faces a pretrial conference on the matter in the coming weeks before Judge Steven T. O’Neill.
“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,” county Assistant District Attorney M. Stewart Ryan said about the charges still pending against Cirillo.
In the meantime, Cirillo, who is represented by defense lawyer Nino V. Tinari, remains in the county jail awaiting sentencing in connection with the rape of
an impaired female client at the woman’s West Norriton residence on Aug. 3, 2015. Cirillo was convicted of that charge on Wednesday by a jury that deliberated about six hours over two days.
Cirillo faces a possible maximum sentence of 16 to 52 years in prison when he’s sentenced on the sexual assault charges later this year by O’Neill.
Cirillo could face an additional possible maximum sentence of 11 ½ to 23 years in prison if he’s eventually convicted of the pending charges related to the alleged false impersonation case.
Cirillo is well-known in county legal circles. Cirillo is the son of the late Vincent A. Cirillo, a former Lower Merion commissioner, county prosecutor and judge who went on to be president judge of
the Pennsylvania Superior Court from 1986 to 1990.
With the new charges, county detectives alleged Cirillo posed as the rape victim’s current lawyer, Jason Donoghue, to attempt to obtain confidential civil court documents pertaining to her from the Montgomery County Domestic Relations Office.
“By engaging in this conduct, the defendant used Mr. Donoghue’s identifying information without his consent to further an unlawful purpose, specifically to gain access to private areas of the (Domestic Relations Office) premises and gather confidential information about the individual he is accused of raping,” county Detective Lt. Christopher Kuklentz wrote in the arrest affidavit. “There is seemingly only one pur-
pose behind the defendant’s actions; that is to gather information he believes may be used to improperly attack (the victim’s) character at his criminal trial…”
On Sept. 21, Cirillo, who had been free on bail while awaiting trial on the sexual assault charges, went to the county’s Domestic Relations Office, which controls confidential files concerning child custody and support matters.
Cirillo allegedly asked court clerks to review files related to the rape victim’s pending civil matter and identified himself as Jason Donoghue, the victim’s current lawyer, according to the arrest affidavit. Cirillo allegedly made “an illegible marking”
on a sign-in sheet meant for the attorney of record.
Detectives said under law, much of the confidential information maintained in domestic relations files is protected by state and federal law and the office only allows the parties or their lawyers of record to review or copy documents contained in those files.
A clerk noted Cirillo’s signature was illegible and she asked that he make a legible marking on the sign-in sheet and Cirillo complied and continued to claim he represented the alleged victim in her civil cases, according to the criminal complaint.
Cirillo then allegedly requested copies of 13 documents contained in the file. But quick-thinking clerks grew suspicious about the illegible signature and noticed that written on the signin
sheet over the illegible signature was what appeared to be the name “V. Cirillo,” according to court papers. The clerk retrieved all documents and confronted Cirillo about his alleged claim to be Jason Donoghue and he denied saying that, court papers indicate.
Cirillo then allegedly told the clerk that he did represent the victim “at one time.”
“(The clerk) told him in order to get the documents he would have to enter his appearance on behalf of (the victim). The defendant refused to do so and left,” Kuklentz alleged.
The clerk told detectives she was “one hundred percent positive” that Cirillo had identified himself as Jason Donoghue.