South Kingstown man to serve 7 years in state prison for sexual assault

South Kingstown man to serve 7 years in state prison for sexual assault

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a South Kingstown man has been sentenced in Washington County Superior Court to serve seven years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) for sexually assaulting a woman in August 2022.

On May 13, 2024, Superior Court Justice Melanie Wilk Thunberg sentenced John Celico (age 30) to 15 years with seven years to serve at the ACI and an eight-year suspended sentence with 15 years of probation. Additionally, Judge Thunberg ordered a No Contact Order between the defendant and the victim, sex offender registration, and sex offender counseling. At the hearing, the defendant pleaded nolo contendere to one count of first-degree sexual assault.

“Offenders of sexual violence must be held accountable for the physical and emotional trauma they cause their victims,” said Attorney General Neronha. “It takes great courage to come forward as this victim did, and in doing so, she serves as a great reminder to other victims that justice is indeed possible. Additionally, I want to thank the South Kingstown Police Department for their commitment to delivering justice in this case and many others.”

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on August 2, 2022, the defendant sexually assaulted a woman, who was known to him, at a residence in South Kingstown. Unbeknownst to the defendant, the victim used her cell phone to record audio of the preceding conversation between the two, and the assault.

“While nothing can undo the pain caused to this victim, I commend her bravery throughout this process,” said South Kingstown Police Chief Matthew Moynihan. “Justice was served in this case, and I thank Detective Bouffard and our partners at the Attorney General’s Office for their investigation and prosecutorial work.”

Assistant Attorney General Mark Trovato of the Office of the Attorney General and Detective Thomas Bouffard of the South Kingstown Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.