FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Angel Robles,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-235

Chief, Police Department,

City of Bridgeport; and

Police Department, City of Bridgeport,

 
  Respondents

March 10, 2010

       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 16, 2009, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The complainant, who is incarcerated, appeared via teleconference, pursuant to the January 2004 memorandum of understanding between the Commission and the Department of Correction.  See  Docket No. CV 03-0826293, Anthony Sinchak v. FOIC et al, Superior Court, J.D. of Hartford at Hartford,  Corrected Order dated January 27, 2004 (Sheldon, J.). 

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

 

1.  The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  By letter of complaint filed April 21, 2009, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent denied his March 24, 2009 request for public records.

 

3.  It is found that the complainant by letter dated March 24, 2009 requested that the respondents provide:

 

a.  All statements made by the victim in Docket No. CR 03-0193843-S; and;

 

b.  All detective reports in Docket No. CR-03-0193843-S.[1]


4.  It is found that the requested records concern the sexual assault of a minor by the complainant.

 

5.  It is found that the respondents did not provide the requested records.

 

6.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., provides:

 

“Public records or files” means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.

 

7.  Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212. 

 

8.  It is found that the requested records, which were submitted for in camera inspection, consist of a two-page incident report, a three-page investigative interview of the victim, a three-page application for an arrest warrant, and a two-page criminal investigation report of the respondent Police Department’s Detective Division.

 

9.  It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S.

 

10.  The respondents concede that 1-210(b)(3)(F), G.S., permits the redaction of the name and address of the victim of a sexual assault, but withheld the entirety of the records, because they contain frank descriptions of the sexual assaults by the victim, absent a clear directive from this Commission.

 

11.  Section 1-210(b)(3)(F), G.S., provides that disclosure is not required of:

 

Records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of … (F) the name and address of the victim of a sexual assault under section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73a, or injury or risk of injury, or impairing of morals under section 53-21, or of an attempt thereof ….

 

12.  It is concluded that the name and address of the victim of the complainant’s assault may be redacted from the requested records.

 

13.  It is found that other information in the requested records, consisting of the name, address and telephone numbers of the victim’s mother and victim’s aunt, could result in the disclosure of the name and address of the victim, and that therefore this information may also be redacted from the requested records.

 

14.  It is also concluded, however, that nothing in 1-210(b)(3)(F), G.S., permits the wholesale withholding of the requested records on the grounds that the offenses described are sexual in nature.  It is found that the description of the crimes committed by the complainant would not result in the disclosure of the victim’s name and address.

 

15.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents violated 1-210(a), G.S., by withholding the requested records in their entireties.

 

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

 

1.  The respondents shall forthwith provide the requested records to the complainant, free of charge.  The respondents may redact from the requested records the information described in paragraphs 12 and 13 of the findings, above.

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 10, 2010.

 

 

 

____________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

 

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

 

Angel Robles, #332637

MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution

1153 East Street South

Suffield, CT 06080

 

Chief, Police Department,

City of Bridgeport; and

Police Department, City of Bridgeport

c/o Melanie J. Howlett, Esq.

Associate City Attorney

999 Broad Street, 2nd Floor

Bridgeport, CT 06604

 

 

 

 

____________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

FIC/2009-235FD/paj/3/11/2010

 

 

 

 



[1] The defendant, after a jury trial, was convicted of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of 53a-70 (a) (2), G.S., and risk of injury to a child in violation of  53-21 (2), G.S. The assaults occurred over a period of at least five years, beginning when the victim was approximately seven  years old.  State v. Robles,  103 Conn. App. 383, 930 A.2d 27, 2007 Conn. App. LEXIS 357 (2007); cert denied State v. Robles, 284 Conn. 928, 934 A.2d 244, 2007 Conn. LEXIS 449 (2007).