Police charge Ansonia man with sexually abusing teens

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James Severance

NAUGATUCK — An Ansonia man surrendered to police Saturday after two teenage borough girls reported he had been fondling them for years.

One of the girls told police that James Severance, 32, of 8 Root Ave. in Ansonia, pleasured himself in her presence while he was intoxicated in September, around her 15th birthday.

The girl, who attends Naugatuck High School, reported the incidents to the school resource officer in mid-November, said Lt. Bryan Cammarata of the Naugatuck Police Department.

The teen told police Severance was an acquaintance of her mother’s and that he had repeatedly inappropriately touched her and her sister, who is now 13 or 14 years old, and kissed them with an open mouth.

The older girl told police Severance would get drunk, come into their beds and cuddle them from behind. The incidents had been taking place since the older girl was about 7 years old, Cammarata said.

The girl often felt uncomfortable around Severance, and would separate herself and her sister from him when he came around, Cammarata said. When he touched her inappropriately, she would move away and the incident would end, Cammarata said.

The incident in September finally pushed her to report Severance, Cammarata said.

“I think that was the one that she was really bothered by and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Cammarata said.

Police charged Severance with fourth-degree sexual assault, disorderly conduct and risk of injury to a child. He was released in lieu of $5,000 bond and appeared Monday in Waterbury Superior Court, where his case was continued to Jan. 23.