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Judge Finds Convicted Sex Offender Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity In Attack On Hartford Teenager

David Owens
Contact Reporterdowens@courant.com

A judge in Hartford Superior Court on Tuesday found a convicted sex offender not guilty by reason of mental disease for the attempted sexual assault of a city high school student.

Thomas J. Connors, 24, who has a long history of mental illness, was accused of trying to sexually assault the girl, whom he followed from the UConn Law School campus to Elizabeth Park.

Judge Frank M. D’Addabbo Jr. presided over Connors’ trial Aug. 29, and issued his verdict Tuesday.

He found that prosecutor Donna Mambrino proved that Connors was guilty of attempted first-degree sexual assault, then found that Hartford Public Defender R. Bruce Lorenzen proved that Connors’ illness prevented him from appreciating the wrongness of his conduct and prevented him from conducting himself within the requirements of the law.

The teenage girl, who testified at Connors’ trial, described the attack on April 5, 2017. She was walking, noticed Connors was following her, and described how he grabbed her around the waist and put his hand over her mouth. The teen wiggled away, told Connors not to touch her, then said her phone had GPS tracking. Connors then ran off.

About three weeks later, while riding in a car with her boyfriend and his mother, she spotted Connors on Farmington Avenue and said she thought that was the man who attacked her. She called police and officers immediately confronted and questioned Connors.

During a subsequent interview, he confessed, telling detectives that when he saw an attractive girl “his urges started acting up,” according to the warrant for his arrest. When the detective asked Connors what he planned to do with the girl, he responded, “I was going to have sex with her,” the warrant says.

Connors is on the state sex-offender registry for sex-crime convictions in the Norwich area.

The judge ordered Connors committed to the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for an evaluation. He is due back in court Dec. 4 when he likely will be committed to the custody of the state Psychiatric Security Review Board.

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