Sex, Cops and Videotape: Girl Claims Abuse

The alleged incident is just the latest scandal for the town's police department and longtime captain in recent years. Residents have mixed feelings about the force.

A neighbor of the Portos, who declined to be named, defended the police. "They are great. Allegations are just that -- allegations."

Other residents, who also declined to be named, were more critical of the police force.

"It is a scary situation," said one longtime resident. "Some of these officers think they can get away with anything -- and people in town are afraid to confront them. What are you gonna do? They're the police."

A lawyer who has not been involved in litigation with the police was also reluctant to go on the record with his comments. "There is a perception in the town and in our community that there are some bad things going on at the police department. As a citizen, I have concerns about it."

Bruno Strati, a former town board member, defended the police.

"Nothing really has been proven yet," he said. "I don't believe there's a problem with the police. They have a tough job and whenever someone gets arrested, sometimes they make allegations that don't turn out to be true."

A month and a half ago, a town employee accused Marraccini and his brother-in-law of brutally beating him outside Al Dente Bar & Restaurant. John Carollo claims that Marraccini dragged him outside while the brother-in-law kicked him in the head and face.

Carollo, who was arrested for misdemeanor drug possession, has a court appearance Friday in his drug case.

Carollo was not available for comment but his mother, Robyn Nathanson Carollo, said that her son was hospitalized for a few days after suffering a concussion and facial bruises in the beating.

Harfenist, Marraccini's lawyer, dismissed the allegations of the beating, saying, "There is no merit to the Carollo matter."

Last year, the town's police department was caught up in another scandal involving cameras and illicit images.

Marraccini, along with police Chief David Hall, was the defendant in a previous federal lawsuit filed last year, in which fellow officers accused the pair of secretly spying on officers as they changed and showered.

According to the suit, Marraccini admitted setting up the camera and to keeping locker room images of the officers on his computer.

Marraccini, who was not available for comment, told the New York Times that while he did install the camera, the other allegations against him were false. Hall, who did not return calls for comment, also denied the allegations in previous reports. That lawsuit is still pending.

The suit exposed tensions within the department because one of the plaintiffs was an 18-year veteran of the force who had accused his colleagues of racial profiling in 2004 and claimed he was later punished by being denied a promotion.

Former police union president Ralph Tancredi, another plaintiff, has sued the police department four times in federal court.

Two months after the spying lawsuit was filed, he and nine other officers sued Hall and the town over claims that the chief mishandled a $2,500 donation.

Six months later, Tancredi, who did not respond to requests for comment, sued Hall and other officers for allegedly recording conversations at the front desk of the police department.

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