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Special Probation Granted In Voyeurism Case

Published: June 29, 2017 at 12:00 am

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DANBURY - A former Newtown High School teacher, whom police arrested in connection with a December 2016 voyeurism incident on Aunt Park Lane in Newtown, has received special pretrial probation in state Superior Court, meaning that if he successfully completes that probation, the charges against him will be dismissed.

Douglas L. Russell, 57, was a Newtown High School special education teacher. He also served as head coach for girls' cross country and girls' track and field. Mr Russell began teaching at the high school in 1999, after having taught in Virginia. Mr Russell was named the Coach of The Year in 2015 by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association.

Attorney John Maxwell, who represents Mr Russell, said June 26 that a judge recently granted Mr Russell participation in the state's "accelerated rehabilitation" program.

In January, Mr Russell had pleaded not guilty to simple trespassing, which is an infraction, and also to disorderly conduct/voyeurism, which is a misdemeanor. For participation in the accelerated rehabilitation program, those the two pleas were withdrawn.

Mr Russell is scheduled to return to court on June 5, 2018, at which time a judge will decide whether he has successfully completed the terms of the one-year period of accelerated rehabilitation. The terms of the probation include that Mr Russell have no contact with the victim, that he continue receiving counseling, and that he stay out of trouble with the law.

Accelerated rehabilitation is a diversionary program intended for first-time offenders who are considered not likely to offend again. A judge may approve program participation after reviewing a criminal background check and the circumstances of a given case.

Mr Maxwell said that Mr Russell has moved out of town, recently having sold the 50 Aunt Park Lane house where he had lived. The lawyer did not disclose where Mr Russell now lives.

The December incident resulting in Mr Russell's arrest had occurred at a property in Mr Russell's neighborhood.

In a statement, police have said, "The arrest stems from a neighborhood incident. [Mr Russell] is alleged to have entered the property of a neighbor and inappropriately lingered on the property."

According to police incident logs, at 6:10 am on December 1, police received a complaint involving "suspicious activity" at an Aunt Park Lane address in which a "suspicious person" was trespassing. The victim told police that the suspect had been standing on their property and looking through a window at the victim who was within a house,.

Mr Russell had been placed on administrative leave with pay from the school system on December 5, while the December 1, Aunt Park Lane incident was under investigation by police. Mr Russell later resigned from his employment with school system, effective February 28.

According to the police's arrest warrant application in the case, the female victim called police to complain that as she was getting dressed for the day in her first-floor bedroom, located in front of her house, "she noticed a man looking in through the window," after which she screamed, ran out of the bedroom, and then called police. In the court papers, police state that the bedroom window apparently did not have any screens or blinds on it.

 

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