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Rep. Carnevale denies charges of sexual assault

Nearly three months after a woman filed a sexual assault complaint against Rep. John Carnevale (D-Providence, Johnston), the legislator has been indicted by a Providence County grand jury.

The 49-year-old Carnevale vehemently denies the charges, including one count of first-degree and one count of second-degree sexual assault, and one count of assault with the intent to commit sexual assault. A BCI check by the Johnston Police revealed no prior criminal record.

“I have committed no crime and I will prove that to all of my constituents and to all the citizens of the state of Rhode Island in a court of law,” the retired Providence Police sergeant said yesterday.

Carnevale directed specific questions about the allegations and his past relationship to the accuser to his attorney, William Dimitri, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, but has no plans of stepping down from his post. He is up for re-election in 2012.

On Tuesday, the second term legislator in the House of Representatives participated in pension hearings at the State House, and he said he would continue to work on the issues facing the state, and his constituents in Providence and Johnston in particular.

“Over the past three years, my dedication to the people of the 13th District and my hard work ethic has elevated the position of a part-time legislator to a full-time position. I believe I am a full-time legislator, and I will continue to serve the people of the 13th District,” he said, adding that he would continue to live his motto, “putting public first,” despite the charges against him.

According to reports from the Johnston Police Department, the alleged female victim was at home in Johnston on the evening of July 28. Police are withholding her name for privacy reasons.

The victim claimed she received a phone call from Carnevale, who she says is the Godfather to her son, just before midnight, asking her where she was. The woman said Carnevale arrived at her apartment building shortly thereafter and smelled of alcohol. She said he told her she was beautiful and proceeded to pull her down on an air mattress in the living room. The report describes a struggle, during which the victim claims that Carnevale fondled her and attempted to rape her. When she resisted, the victim said Carnevale masturbated in front of her and forced her face up to his genitalia.

When Carnevale was finished, the victim said he threw a $20 bill down and told her to “take her kid out to eat.” The victim alleges that her child, who has special needs, was the reason it took her until Aug. 1 to report the incident. She says she was home with him that weekend and did not want to upset him by bringing him to the police station.

When the victim did report the incident at headquarters, her pajamas from that night were collected as evidence. According to a supplementary report of the Johnston Police Department issued on Oct. 20, the DNA evidence collected from the victim’s clothing matched a sample provided by Carnevale when he responded to headquarters on Aug. 2.

The case has been turned over to the Attorney General’s office and Carnevale is scheduled for arraignment in Providence County Superior Court on Nov. 16.


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