Former CT theater director repeatedly sexually assaulted girl | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

SOUTHINGTON — A former theater director who was arrested last week on sexual assault charges admitted to repeatedly abusing a minor he met through a youth theater group, according to an arrest affidavit. 

Daniel Checovetes, 45, who began as a volunteer with Thomaston Opera House’s Landmark Community Theatre and eventually became a stage manager and director, surrendered to Southington police last Friday, officials said. He was was charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault after police said he admitted during a civil lawsuit deposition to sexually assaulting two teenage girls in 2015 and 2016. 

The criminal case stemmed from a 2017 complaint that alleged Checovetes had sexually assaulted a minor numerous times from the summer of 2015 through spring 2016, according to the arrest affidavit. 

The arrest affidavit said the abuse started after Checovetes had gained the victim’s trust. He gave her rides home from work and she confided in him about family troubles shortly after they first met in April 2015, the affidavit said.

The abuse occurred several times in Checovetes’ car and in Torrington, Thomaston and Southington, according to the affidavit. They also exchanged nude photos, according to the affidavit. 

The victim’s mother questioned her about Checovetes in the spring of 2016, according to the affidavit. The victim said she told Checovetes “sometime later” that the sexual contact had to end, according to the affidavit. She reported the abuse to police in 2017, according to the affidavit, but Checovetes initially denied any wrongdoing. At that time, police determined they did not have probable cause to pursue sexual assault charges, the affidavit said. 

In January, Southington police received a deposition from a civil case in which Checovetes admitted he lied to police in the initial interview, according to the warrant for his arrest.

According to the arrest affidavit, Checovetes is also being investigated in connection with two other possible victims. 

Jeff Dunn, executive director at the Thomaston Opera House, told police Checovetes had worked with organization from the mid 2000s until May 2018, after violating child safety policies on multiple occasions, the affidavit said.


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