NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — A former Connecticut school employee who is accused of sexually assaulting a minor appeared in Norwich Superior Court on Thursday.
Alyson Cranick, 42, faced two judges this week on charges of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy. Cranick appeared in Rockville Superior Court on Wednesday.
According to court documents, in July and August 2022, the victim started sneaking out of their house in the middle of the night to meet with Cranick. The warrant stated that Cranick and the victim would talk through the Discord app.
At one point, Cranick allegedly gave the victim a beaded bracelet with letters that stood for “best friends for life with benefits.”
Police said the sexual assaults happened at Columbia Lake and the Horace Porter School in Columbia, as well as Salmon River State Forest in Colchester.
“You hope that the people that are looking after your children are gonna be professional and take of them, and it’s unfortunate,” said Sarah Lyons, a Columbia school parent.
Cranick was arraigned on two counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of risk of injury to a minor.
According to court papers, Cranick and the victim met up in two counties, so there were two court arraignments.
On Sept. 19, Regional School District 19 officials were notified of a referral from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) involving Cranick, an administrative assistant.
Ken Mysogland, a spokesperson for DCF, confirmed the investigation in a statement to News 8.
“We can confirm we have conducted a joint investigation with the Connecticut State Police regarding these allegations upon receiving a report in September 2023,” Mysogland said in a statement.
The Regional School District 19 said in a statement to News 8 on Thursday that the incident in question occurred in 2022, months before the district hired Cranick. Officials said the referral did not involve any Regional School District 19 students.
“The employee was hired in February of 2023 with procedural DCF background check, fingerprinting, and reference checks presenting no information of concern that would indicate the individual should not be hired. When we were notified the outcome of the DCF investigation, the individual ceased employment with Regional School District 19.”
Cranick’s attorney, Trent LaLima, said he expects this will be a lengthy court process.
“We maintain her innocence,” LaLima said.
Cranick is due back in court in both counties in December.