Piano tuner jailed for Fairfield sex assault
Published 7:16 am, Wednesday, December 14, 2011
A piano tuner, who was on probation for molesting a 12-year-old girl when police said he sexually assaulted a Fairfield woman in her home, was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison.
Although he said he has a lot of sympathy for the victim, Bridgeport Superior Court Judge Earl Richards agreed to abide by the plea bargain set by another judge who disclosed that he knew the defendant's family.
He sentenced Raymond Nilson, 49, of Derby, who had previously pleaded no contest to third-degree sexual assault and second-degree unlawful restraint, to 10 years, suspended after he serves three years in prison and followed by 25 years of probation. Richards also ordered Nilson to register as a sex offender, to have no contact with children and be supervised when he goes to homes to tune pianos. He also has to complete sex offender treatment for a second time.
During the hearing, the 43-year-old victim tearfully urged Richards to hold Nilson accountable for the anguish she said she has suffered since he sexually assaulted her.
"I hired this man to tune my piano and welcomed him into my home ... I was assaulted and held against my will and he must be held accountable," she said.
Assistant State's Attorney Tatiana Messina told the judge she opposed the plea bargain because she believed the three-year term was too lenient for a defendant who had previously committed the same crime against a young girl.
Nilson had pleaded no contest before Superior Court Judge Frank Iannotti who had set the 3-year term as a cap with Nilson's lawyer having the right to argue for less. However, Iannotti later disclosed that he knows Nilson's family and transferred the case to Richards for sentencing.
Three times during his sentencing remarks Richards commended Iannotti for revealing a possible conflict of interest in the case.
"This is a case that shocks the conscience," he continued. "The court feels for this victim, she wants justice."
He said he was going to impose the plea agreement with the exception of not allowing Nilson's lawyer, Richard Lynch, to argue for a lesser term.
According to Fairfield police, a 43-year-old woman complained last March that she had been sexually assaulted by Nilson, who had come to her home to tune her piano.
The woman said Nilson had called her over to look at something in her piano. While she was bent over police said Nilson pinned her against the piano and began running his hands over her body.
After he was done police said Nilson offered the woman a "discount" on the price of the tuning and left.
According to court records, on May 14, 2002, Nilson was sentenced to a seven-year suspended term with 10 years probation for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old Woodbridge girl in her home.
The police report in that case states that Nilson had called the girl over while tuning her piano, wrapped his arms around her and then masturbated on her.
As a condition of that probation he was ordered to undergo sex offender treatment.