Former Gunnery dean denied parole
Published 4:19 pm, Thursday, July 2, 2015
A former dean of Gunnery School in Washington who is serving a 9½-year prison sentence for the sexual assaults of four students was denied parole on June 26.
Robert Reinhardt, 50, was sentenced in 2011 in state Superior Court in Litchfield on three counts of second-degree assault and one count of risk of injury to a minor for sexually assaulting four boys over a seven-year period at the private school.
He had pleaded guilty under the Alford doctrine, which allows a defendant to dispute the allegations against him, but admits enough evidence exists for a conviction at trial.
Attorney Susan Smith, representing three of the victims, said all of them suffered long-term consequences of the abuse.
Three civil suits brought by the victims against Reinhardt and The Gunnery have been resolved.
“Many of his victims had vulnerabilities that made them susceptible to manipulation,” Smith said.
“He sometimes maintained sexual relationships with multiple victims in the same time period,” she added, “and some of his predatory activities involved more than one victim at a time.”
Reinhardt’s sentence includes 30 years of parole after prison release, and he must then register as a sex offender.
Judge Charles Gill also placed conditions on the probation that include treatment, even medication, for Reinhardt, whom he described as a sexual hebephile, or someone who sexually abuses young adolescents rather than children.
The judge placed requirements that Reinhardt not be employed where he would have any contact with minors or have any personal Internet access without supervision by his probation officer.
“On the part of the victims, we are opposed to any parole for Mr. Reinhardt at this time,” said Rick Kennedy, a Hartford attorney who worked with Smith on the civil suits.
“He should serve his full sentence,” he said, “given the number of victims and the effect his actions had on them.”
Under Connecticut law, defendants convicted of second-degree sexual assault must serve at least 85 percent of their sentences before they are eligible to apply for parole.
One of Reinhardt’s four victims spoke at the June 2011 sentencing, saying the former dean manipulated him when he was 16 into a two-year sexual relation