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Police Review Investigation Of Complaint Against Angel Morales

Jenna Carlesso

September 03, 2010

Police said Thursday they are conducting a further investigation into a complaint that Angel Morales, a candidate for the legislature who is contesting his loss in the Democratic primary, lured a 19-year-old mentally disabled man to his campaign headquarters and stripped to his boxer shorts.

The complaint, filed last week, was investigated by a Hartford police officer who found no probable cause to arrest Morales, and the case was closed. But Chief Daryl K. Roberts has asked for further evaluation of the complaint, Sgt. Christene Mertes said Thursday.

"He had some questions about the initial report, so he's asked for some additional follow-up on it," Mertes said.

Morales, asked about the complaint Thursday, noted that no probable cause was found in the case, then declined further comment.

The incident report says the 19-year-old complainant alleged that Morales approached him in a Hartford post office parking lot on Aug. 26, and offered him a job. Morales then asked the man to get into his car and drove with him to his campaign headquarters on Franklin Avenue, the complaint says.

Once inside, Morales locked the door behind them and said he had to use the bathroom, according to the report. When he emerged from the bathroom moments later, Morales wore "nothing but his navy blue boxers," police said the man told them.

Morales then handed the man his wristwatch and asked him to time him doing pushups, the report states.

The man told police he excused himself and ran out of the building, reporting the incident to his mother when he arrived home.

He was "visibly upset," but said "there was no sexual contact and that he was not held there by threat or physical force," according to the report.

The man's mother told police that her son is mentally disabled, but independent, and "has no history of creating or making false police complaints or allegations," the report states.

In an interview with police last week, Morales said he was attempting to recruit the man to assist him in his political campaign. He told police the man "ran out of his office for no apparent reason."

William Gerace, a Hartford lawyer representing Morales in the matter, said he has written a letter to the police department telling officers not to contact or interrogate Morales unless they obtain a warrant for his arrest.

Morales, a convicted felon who has said he turned his life around and has been active in city politics, lost the Aug. 10 Democratic primary for the 4th House District seat to incumbent state Rep. Kelvin Roldan by six votes, according to the results of a recount.

Morales filed a lawsuit last week alleging improprieties in the way absentee ballots were managed, saying officials failed to keep boxes containing the ballots sealed from Aug. 10 until the Aug. 16 recount. His case is being heard this week in Superior Court in Hartford.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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