Stratford police: High school athletic director accused of sexual assault
The athletic director of a Bridgeport private school is accused of inappropriately touching a 19-year-old family friend while she babysat his kids, according to his arrest warrant.
Roderick Ricketts, 44, of Stratford, turned himself in to Stratford police last week on a charge of fourth-degree sexual assault.
Ricketts works for Kolbe Cathedral High School, where he’s also a coach and from which he graduated in 1998.
Police said they’ve never investigated Ricketts before last month. His warrant revealed a therapist called police in mid-June to report that during a session, a woman told her she'd been sexually assaulted by Ricketts, whom she considered “a godfather figure.”
The victim later came to the department to file a report on the incident, which she said happened on June 7 when Ricketts tried to kiss her. She told police it was normal for them to kiss on the cheek, which “has never been uncomfortable,” but this time, “Ricketts was asking for a different kind of kiss,” the warrant said.
According to the warrant, "V1 said that after she denied him for a kiss, Ricketts sat back and said, 'I know you have your nipples pierced.'" He allegedly then pulled her shirt down, exposing her breasts, and touched her nipples. The victim told police that “she froze and was now upset with herself because she didn’t do anything at the time,” the warrant said.
“She thought it was totally inappropriate, unexpected, never saw it coming, and she didn't feel like there was anything that led up to that point,” Lt. Robert Burroughs told News 12.
The victim said she's known Ricketts since she was 5 and babysat for his kids for years. She also told police he was her high school volleyball coach.
Burroughs said Ricketts “denied anything like this happened.”
According to the warrant, “Ricketts explained that he thinks of V1 as a daughter.” He told police on the morning in question, "they said hello, small talked, and hugged. He was asked if there was any sort of sexual contact that occurred, and he said, 'I swear I never touched that girl,'’ the warrant said. It also stated that Ricketts told police they did talk about her piercings because he could see them through her shirt, but it didn't go any further and was when the kids were in the room. According to the warrant, “Ricketts reiterated at the end of the interview that he can’t believe this accusation and thought it was crazy.”
“Based on our investigation with the detective bureau, we found that there was enough to apply for a warrant, and it was granted for sexual assault four,” Burroughs said.
Ricketts posted bond and is due in court July 31.
The warrant also included allegations of inappropriate comments made to female students at Kolbe Cathedral High School. News 12 reached out to the school's administration for a statement but has not heard back.