'Lust' leads to janitor's sexual assault of rehab patients - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

'Lust' leads to janitor's sexual assault of rehab patients

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Rafael Cartagena is accused of sexually assaulting rehab patients. (Bridgeport police photo) Rafael Cartagena is accused of sexually assaulting rehab patients. (Bridgeport police photo)
New Prospects– Recovery Network of Programs on Prospect Street is where the incidents took place. (WFSB Photo) New Prospects– Recovery Network of Programs on Prospect Street is where the incidents took place. (WFSB Photo)
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

A janitor from Bridgeport claims he sexually assaulted clients at a recovery facility because he had a "lust problem," police said.

Rafael Cartagena, 40, was charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault and four counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

Police said they responded to the New Prospects – Recovery Network of Programs on Prospect Street in June. The facility offers a variety of rehabilitation procedures, according to its website.

Investigators said initial reports claimed the janitor sexually assaulted several female clients who were at the facility.

"We were alerted by staff about some allegations against a janitor," said Bill Kaempffer, Bridgeport police spokesperson.

One victim told police the contact began with blown kisses and inappropriate comments that eventually led to the assault in her room.

Another victim said Cartagena assaulted her in her room and threatened that it would be "10 times worse" the next time, if she said anything.

Cartagena denied the accusations when confronted by detectives. He said he never entered their rooms when they were present. He also declined to submit to a DNA test.

However, investigators said security footage told a different story.

Cartagena then admitted he had the "lust problem" and that he "fell" to "temptation."

Police said Cartagena worked at the facility for about seven months, and there was no word if he was still an employee as of Monday evening.

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