HARTFORD — A former security guard at Milner School on Vine Street was convicted Thursday of trying to have sex with a 12-year-old girl at the school last year.
Heriberto Agosto, 51, of Auburn Street, pleaded guilty under the Alford doctrine to a single count of attempted second-degree sexual assault and faces three years in prison.
Agosto did not agree with the state's evidence against him, but acknowledged that it was likely he would be convicted at trial. He told Judge Joan K. Alexander he wanted to take advantage of a plea offer from prosecutors and a receive shorter prison sentence.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Agosto will serve three years in prison and 10 years of probation. He will also be on the state's sex offender registry. His sentencing has been scheduled for Aug. 29.
Agosto's misconduct came to the attention of administrators at Milner School in November 2013. They immediately contacted Hartford police, who in January obtained a warrant for Agosto's arrest.
According to the warrant, on Nov. 19, 2013, Agosto took the girl into a storage closet at the school and asked her to perform a sex act on him. The girl refused, and Agosto responded, "Tomorrow, OK?" The girl immediately told a friend about the incident, the warrant says.
On Nov. 21, 2013, Milner Principal Karen Lott told police, she was reviewing school surveillance video as she investigated reports of students skipping class when she saw Agosto and the girl walk up a seldom-used stairwell toward the closet. She told police the video showed Agosto opening the door with a pass key, and then the girl, after hesitating, follow him in. They were inside about 12 minutes, the warrant says. Lott provided a copy of the video to police.
Thomas Pentalow, the school system's assistant security director and a retired Wethersfield police officer, interviewed the girl, who initially denied that anything had happened, but when told there was video she said Agosto had asked her for sex, the warrant says.
Police began their investigation on Nov. 22 by reviewing the video, interviewing the girl and the friend she told about the incident, and then Agosto.
Agosto initially denied taking the girl to the locked room, but admitted it after being told there was video, the warrant says. He denied asking the girl for sex or talking about sex, but told police the girl "likes to play around and be physical with boys," according to the warrant.
The girl told a forensic interviewer at the Greater Hartford Children's Advocacy Center at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center that she knew Agosto as "Security G," and that he was a friend of her father. She talked to him, based upon what her father told her, but then began to feel uncomfortable around Agosto, according to the warrant.
"She stated he would stare at her, he would look at up and down and lick his lips," according to the warrant. The girl also told police she thought Agosto was following her around the school.
She said that on Nov. 19, 2013, Agosto grabbed her by the arm and said to her, "let me show you something, the room where everybody do it," according to the warrant. She then described how Agosto asked to have sex with her and how she refused, the warrant says.
Lott told police she came upon Agosto and the girl on Nov. 20, 2013, a day before she saw them on the video, and that Agosto was opening a third-floor bathroom door for the girl. She told police seeing Agosto and the girl together made her uncomfortable and she sent the girl to use another restroom.