School Counselor Charged with Sexually Assaulting Students

A former counselor at a school for children with emotional, psychological and learning vulnerabilities had been arrested on accusations that he sexually assaulted students.

Connecticut State Police said that 26-year-old Michael Capozzi was arrested Monday as a result of an investigation into a sexual assault at the Arch Bridge School at Wellspring in Bethlehem, a private special education school for students grades 1 through 12.

According to police, the investigation began when two female students, ages 15 and 16, reported that they’d been sexually assaulted by a milieu counselor in June of 2016.

Milieu counselors are professionals trained to work with clients with emotional and behavioral difficulties.

“In mid-December 2016, a report came to our attention that Michael Capozzi – who left our employ of his own volition last summer – engaged in inappropriate relationships with a resident and a former resident. We immediately alerted the appropriate authorities and continue to cooperate fully with them. We have reviewed and further strengthened our already rigorous supervision protocols for direct care staff, which are currently in place, Renee Dwyer, an attorney for Arch Bridge School at Wellspring, said in a statement. “Wellspring staff are deeply angered and hurt by this betrayal of trust. For 40 years Wellspring has been saving and transforming the lives of the children and families in our care. Our ability to provide quality and compassionate care has not, in any way, been diminished."

As a result of the investigation, State Police arrested Capozzi on Monday. He is charged with second-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault, promoting a minor in an obscene performance, and risk of injury to a minor.

He was arraigned on Monday and released on a $50,000 bond. He is next due in court on Sept. 6. 

It was not immediately clear if Capozzi has retained an attorney.

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