Pellingra pleaded guilty in August, under the Alford doctrine, to criminal attempt to commit first-degree unlawful restraint. With the Alford doctrine, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to convict him.
Pellingra was facing charges of criminal attempt to commit third-degree sexual assault, first-degree unlawful restraint and second-degree strangulation, according to judicial branch records.
He was going to take the case to trial, but a plea deal was struck as jury selection was underway.
Pellingra was terminated from the Manchester Fire Department. The woman resigned from the department.
According to police, the woman told officers that Pellingra called her from his cell phone on Nov. 10, 2010, while he was just outside her duplex. The two had dated briefly years before, the woman said.
The woman let Pellingra in, and they were sitting on a couch when Pellingra, smelling strongly of alcohol, got up and started tickling her, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. She pushed him away, and he stopped, but then resumed tickling her, getting more aggressive, the warrant states.
Pellingra pinned the woman's arms, straddled her and tried to stick a hand down her pants, police said. He then forced her head toward his groin as he undid his pants, according to the warrant.
At one point, Pellingra grabbed a scarf the woman was wearing, wrapped it around her neck and choked her until she could not breathe, police said. The woman told police that she hit Pellingra until he got off of her, the arrest warrant states. The investigator, Officer Cory Palmisano, wrote that the woman had bruises on her neck and left forearm.
Confronted with the allegations, Pellingra told police that he and the woman were friends. He acknowledged that he had visited her and the two had engaged in playful tickling, but he denied any aggression, police said.
Pellingra agreed to take a polygraph test but did not show up for the appointment, leaving a message with police that he had retained a lawyer, police said.
Written by Hartford Courant
Courtesy of YellowBrix - YellowBrix