Expert testifies in former CT charter school exec’s trial

HARTFORD — After two days of victim testimony, prosecutors Thursday questioned a forensic expert in the kidnapping trial for a former Connecticut charter school principal.

Michael Sharpe, 71, of Marlborough, is facing eight counts of first-degree kidnapping, two for each of the four women he is accused of assaulting at their homes in Bloomfield, Middletown, Windsor and Rocky Hill in 1984. Sharpe could not be charged with sexual assault because the then statute of limitations had expired.

The case remained cold for years because investigators were unable to match the DNA found at the crime scenes with samples in databases. However, police later identified Sharpe as a suspect in the crimes using publicly available genealogical information, according to the Justice Department.

The four victims who testified on the first two days of the trial this week each recalled similar incidents in June 1984, when they were awakened in their home by a man wearing a stocking or mask over his face and armed with a gun . The women, who are now in their 60s, said the man raped them, changed the clocks in their house, made himself something to eat, stole money or items, and even called someone to give him a ride home.

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