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November 14, 2013

Judge throws out some of defendant’s statements

SHARON — Although Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher J. St. John ruled that Sharon police improperly elicited incriminating statements from Calvin E. Winchell, 35, of 479 B. St., during his arrest, Winchell allegedly made other incriminating comments that were not challenged.

Winchell was charged with indecent assault, corruption of a minor and dissemination of sexual material to a minor for luring the girl to his home May 31 with an invitation to bake cookies, police said.

He talked the girl into taking a bath while he watched, shaved her pubic area and underarms and showed her a pornographic picture, police said.

Sharon patrolman Marc A. Adamo testified Nov. 6 at a suppression hearing that a neighbor reported a sexual assault. He went to Winchell’s apartment to collect the girl’s belongings, had a conversation with Winchell and left.

Shortly afterward, Sgt. James Masotto arrived and Adamo filled him in on what had occurred, Adamo said. They decided to arrest Winchell, but he ran before they could re-enter the apartment, Adamo said.

Police caught Winchell at his mother’s home on Nimick Street, cuffing him on the back porch as Winchell’s stepmother and stepfather came out and Winchell’s mother’s dogs were barking, creating a chaotic scene.

After Winchell was cuffed, Masotto said to him, “What’s the matter with you, shaving that little girl?”

Winchell replied, “All this over shaving a little girl?”

Adamo testified he did not hear Masotto’s original remark, but he heard Winchell’s reply, told him to be quiet and said he knew that Winchell also bathed the girl.

“He (Winchell) said, ‘No, no, no, I watched her take a bath. I never touched her,’ ” Adamo said.

Although Assistant District Attorney Daniel Davis argued that the comments should not be taken as part of an ongoing conversation, St. John said it was logical to construe them that way.

Both policeman testified that Winchell had not been given his Miranda warnings that he had the right to remain silent, and that such warnings are given when someone is interviewed. They said they did not believe that they had been interviewing Winchell.

“I didn’t want to have a conversation with him,” Adamo said, adding that he was “sickened” by the allegations.

“That’s why I advised him several times to be quiet,” Adamo said.

Both policemen said they were familiar with Winchell from past encounters and Masotto agreed with defense attorney Jeffrey M. Simons that Winchell can be talkative.

St. John said the issue was not whether the policemen intended to question Winchell but whether the things they said were likely to elicit responses from Winchell.

In an opinion filed Friday, St. John said the policemen “should have known that it was reasonably likely that this particular defendant would likely make an incriminating remark to this question/statement.”

He suppressed both statements, meaning prosecutors cannot use them as evidence against Winchell.

However, St. John said Winchell allegedly made incriminating statements in his discussion with Adamo in his apartment, and Simons acknowledged he was not challenging the admissibility of those statements.

In addition to this case, Winchell, faces two others: that he tried to hire a fellow Mercer County Jail inmate in July to harm or intimidate the girl; and that he raped a 5-year-old girl in 2012.

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