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Springfield, Vt., prison counselor accused of having sex with inmate denies charge

  • Victoria Calogero, 31, of Springfield, Vt., walks out of Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction, Vt., with her attorney, Kevin Rogers, following her arraignment Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, on a charge of sexual exploitation of an inmate. (Pool photograph - Eric Francis)

Published: 2/26/2020 5:57:16 PM
Modified: 2/26/2020 5:57:08 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A former mental health counselor at the Springfield, Vt., prison has pleaded not guilty to a charge alleging she had sex with an inmate at the facility while she worked there before getting fired.

Victoria Calogero, 31, of Springfield entered the plea Tuesday during her arraignment on a felony charge of sexual exploitation of a prisoner. She was released on conditions, including that she not contact witnesses in the case.

Calogero and her attorney, Kevin Rogers, both declined comment Tuesday outside the courtroom in White River Junction immediately following the hearing.

If convicted of the charge, Calogero faces up to five years in prison.

Vermont State Police had announced in January Calogero’s arrest on the charge, however, investigators at that time provided only limited information about the case pending arraignment, when an affidavit in support of the charge became public.

Those records released Tuesday totaled 65 pages, and provide greater detail of the investigation leading to the charge as well as a look into past allegations of misconduct probed by the state Department of Corrections involving Calogero that did not lead to criminal proceedings.

The investigation that resulted in the criminal charge began in September when an inmate at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield reported to corrections staff that he had sex with Calogero.

That inmate told investigators that many months earlier, he had been seeing Calogero for counseling, and they had sex in her office more than 20 times from July 1, 2017, to June 18, 2018, the filings stated.

At that time, according to the filing, Calogero was employed by Centurion, a company contracted by the state corrections department to provide health care services to prisoners.

The inmate said the location of Calogero’s office allowed them to hear outer doors unlock, giving them warning of anyone approaching, the filing stated.

The inmate also told investigators that his sexual relationship with Calogero continued after he was released and she traveled to meet him in a motel room where he was living.

Calogero, through her attorney, declined to be interviewed as part of the investigation, Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Jesse Robson wrote in an affidavit.

However, Robson wrote, investigators obtained a warrant to search a part of her body that the inmate had reported seeing a “skin tag.” During that search, Robson wrote, they did not find that skin tag.

Another prisoner told investigators that the inmate talked about “taking advantage” of Calogero to get money, the affidavit stated.

The prisoner also said he “did not think” there was a relationship between Calogero and that inmate, adding that the inmate was concerned about the effect the allegation would have on her job, according to the affidavit.

Robson sought to find out why the inmate didn’t tell authorities earlier.

“I asked him why he waited,” the detective wrote, “and he said that he didn’t trust anyone.”

During the state police investigation, Robson wrote, he became aware that Calogero had been under investigation by the Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation licensing division over allegations of inappropriate conduct with a different inmate.

According to records in that licensing case, the misconduct allegations against Calogero came from an earlier probe by corrections officials dating back to November 2018 when she was fired from her job at the prison.

The filing in that licensing case does not specifically allege she had sex with that inmate behind bars.

One of the specific license violations against Calogero in that case alleges she engaged in “sexual conduct with a client with whom the licensee has had a professional relationship within the previous two years.”

Following the filing of the criminal charge and allegations of sex with a different inmate behind bars in January, Calogero, through her attorney, agreed to a suspension of her license pending a hearing on the merits of the allegations against her.

It was not immediately clear Tuesday afternoon when that hearing will take place.

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