No jail time for Westport family therapist convicted of sexual assault
WESTPORT — A former family therapist was recently sentenced to a three-year conditional discharge after being convicted of sexual assault.
Kenneth Cardillo, of Westport, was convicted Sept. 6 after entering a guilty plea. As part of the sentence, he is required to give up his therapy license, register as a sex offender for 10 years for law enforcement, and must not have any contact with the victim.
If Cardillo, 67, were to violate any of the conditions, he could be sentenced to a year in prison.
Cardillo’s arrest stemmed from an investigation by Westport police following a report of a teenage boy being sexually assaulted by Cardillo on Jan. 14. A family friend reported the incident after receiving a text message from the boy saying Cardillo had sexually assaulted him.
According to the affidavit, the boy had underwent a medical procedure on his genitals, and that morning Cardillo, who served as the boy’s therapist for the past four years, unexpectedly arrived at his home.
Cardillo allegedly offered to help, and then rubbed the boy’s genitals with cooking oil and then with lotion, the affidavit says. He also allegedly applied pressure to the boy’s genitals.
The boy, referred to in the affidavit as male victim or “MV,” froze during the incident and couldn’t believe what occurred. He later corresponded throughout the day with friends and his father about the incident, which led to the family friend’s police report.
In an interview with the boy’s father, police said Cardillo had recently helped the family with home counseling visits and assistance with household chores. According to the affidavit the father said he asked Cardillo to go to the home at 9:30 a.m. to speak with a contractor because he couldn’t be there himself.
The father said he received a text from Cardillo around 11 a.m. saying he discussed the boy’s genitals with him, but did not disclose he physically touched the boy.
Cardillo, who has worked as a family counselor for over 35 years and was a licensed psychoanalyst, said he asked the boy if it was OK for him to touch his genitals, and claimed the boy said yes.
“I asked Cardillo at the scene why MV couldn’t have applied the treatment himself, and Cardillo state he felt he was helping MV in a paternal manner as he would have his own children,” Westport Police Detective Erin Shaw wrote in the affidavit. “Cardillo stated he believes he held the family together as primary caregiver. He labeled himself multiple times in various ways as the ‘king grandfather,’ not the ‘creepy grandfather,’ then as the family counselor but then not as a counselor.”
Following the police interview, Shaw said Cardillo later admitted to police his actions were a misjudgment. He was arrested on Feb. 19 at police headquarters where he was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault.
Includes previous reporting by Sophie Vaughan; firstname.lastname@example.org