A partially redacted arrest warrant filed Monday in Hartford Superior Court details the groping allegations that led to the fourth-degree sexual assault charges against Daniel Esten — the man who ran the newsstand in the Legislative Office Building.
The victim, whose name was redacted from the arrest report, is a “special needs person due to brain damage sustained at birth.” On July 18, the report says the victim and another person, who is identified only as “R,” went to the newsstand. “R” watched Esten and the victim hug and “saw Esten grab and squeeze the victim’s left breast for a few seconds.”
Esten is legally blind and has not been able to see since 2011, according to the affidavit.
A formal complaint was initiated with state Capitol police on July 29 and at that time someone identified only as “C” also reported that she was touched inappropriately by Esten on two separate occasions in 2012, “but handled the situation on her own and never made a formal complaint.”
The cafeteria where the victim and the rest of the HARC employees work is across the hall from the newspaper stand that has been run by Esten for decades.
On July 31, the Capitol Police were told by “R” that he had witnessed Esten hug and grab the victim’s buttock.
“‘R’ says in his statement that he saw Esten walk into the cafeteria and once he heard the victim’s voice, he walked toward her. R then states that Esten hugged the victim and then began to feel down her backside until he found her buttock. R goes onto state that once Esten had his hand on the victim’s buttock he squeezed it for about one second until R was able to take the victim away,” the affidavit reads.
Esten was eventually confronted about the charges by Capitol Police on Aug. 1 inside the newsstand. They informed him of the investigation and “Esten immediately apologized for his actions and identifies the victim by name. Officer Bermudez and myself [Officer James Zaniewski] never mention the victim by name during the course of our interview with Esten.”
The complaint says Esten admitted to purposely touching and squeezing the victim’s breasts.
Esten, 66, is expected to be arraigned on Aug. 21. He was released from police custody on a promise to appear.