Dulin hearing details probation conflicts

By James Tinley Register Staff

MILFORD - At a hearing on an alleged probation violation, Robert J. Dulin's court ordered, sex-offender treatment provider testified that unlike the Office of Adult Probation, she is not bound by the terms of release set by a judge.

Martina Kardol, regional supervisor for the Center for the Treatment of Problem Sexual Behavior, said Tuesday she had ordered Dulin to sign a treatment agreement to acknowledge he would have no contact with minors under 16 - except for his own children - and submit to polygraph tests.

The hearing was held at Superior Court for Dulin, 50, of 33 Weeping Willow Lane, who denies violating his probation by refusing to sign the treatment agreement.

Dulin was released from prison in April after serving 18 months for second-degree sexual assault. He met with Kardol because he was deemed a candidate for outpatient treatment as a sex offender.

Kardol said she required Dulin to sign the agreement, even though she knew the judge who sentenced the former University of Connecticut basketball star explicitly said Dulin could have contact with minors and did not have to submit to polygraph tests.

Dulin, on the advice of his lawyer, refused to sign the document. He was arrested a month and 22 days after his release from prison.

"We have a set of expectations for our clients. Our treatment is very comprehensive, based on research, and I believe it is the best form of treatment," Kardol said under cross-examination at Superior Court.

An important part of that treatment is patients submitting to polygraph tests, Kardol said. It is so important that it is a "standard requirement for anybody receiving treatment from us," Kardol said.

But the treatment agreement contained this clause: A client must submit to polygraph tests "unless specifically exempted by an order of the court."

Dulin's attorney, Hugh F. Keefe of New Haven, said there were two emergency hearings to clarify Judge John Cronan's orders for probation when Cronan sentenced Dulin to seven years in prison, suspended after he served 18 months with four years of probation, for having sex with a 17-year-old girl he coached during recreational basketball program.

Cronan ordered Dulin to undergo sex offender evaluation and treatment, and to register as a sex offender for 10 years, among other conditions. But he did not bar Dulin from coaching youths in the future, and Dulin did not have submit to polygraph tests, according to transcripts of the hearings.

"Doesn't that fly in the face of your own treatment agreement?" Keefe asked.

"It appears so," Kardol replied. Kardol explained that she went to her supervisors for clarification, and they said Dulin is to submit to polygraph tests.

"So you set conditions on the court?" Keefe asked.

"For treatment matters, absolutely," Kardol responded. "As an independent agency, we set our own conditions for treatment."

The Center for the Treatment of Problem Sexual Behavior is a branch of the nonprofit organization The Connection Inc., which is contracted by the state to treat sex offenders.

Dulin's probation officer, Peter Carusone, testified Tuesday Dulin had been a model probationer until it came to treatment as a sex offender.

When Carusone got a letter from Kardol saying Dulin had refused to sign the treatment agreement, he testified he was "a little shocked" and had no choice but to send an arrest warrant affidavit to the court for Dulin's arrest.

Carusone said he did not investigate which aspect of the agreement Dulin objected to, because he sees the treatment and the probation sides of Dulin's probation as separate.

"Treatment has their side, and we have the supervision side," Carusone said.

Superior Court Judge Eddie Rodriguez Jr. asked Carusone if he had considered asking the court for clarification before writing the arrest warrant affidavit, and Carusone said he had not.

"It appears you were caught in a dilemma," Rodriguez said. "You were caught between complying with a judge's order and treatment on the other side."

Assistant State's Attorney Maria Sous has maintained that the court's decision not requiring Dulin to undergo polygraph tests applies only to the Office of Adult Probation, not to sexual offender treatment providers.

Keefe said if the treatment provider can set any rule it likes, it can pull an "end run around a judge's order."

Testimony is scheduled to resume today.

James Tinley can be reached at [email protected] or 789-5702.

Keefe with Dulin & Mrs Dulin
Peter Hvizdak/Register New Haven attorney Hugh F. Keefe, left, walks to Superior Court in Milford with his client, Robert Dulin, and Dulin's wife, Lynn, for Tuesday's hearing.