Former sex crimes investigator denies sexual assault of 12-year-old

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MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – A Vermont man who one led a unit charged with investigating sex crimes against children in Chittenden County denied in court Monday that he sexually assaulted a 12-year old girl.

Arthur Cyr pleaded not guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct with a child in Vermont Superior Court in Middlebury.

The former director of the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations and retired Burlington police lieutenant is accused of sexually assaulting the girl on New Year’s Eve 2016 at his Bristol home.

According to the police affidavit, as the clock ticked toward 2017, a then-12 year-old girl went to Cyr’s bedroom to watch Spongebob Squarepants with her younger sister.

The girl alleges Cyr got between the girls in bed and sexually assaulted the older sister.

Eventually, the girl says, she got out of the bed.

The girl and her siblings referred to Cyr as an “uncle,” according to court records.

She says for the next two years, she feigned sickness and isolated herself when her family spent time with Cyr. It wasn’t until she did research about sexual assault for an English project, that the girl told a school counselor in December 2018, the police affidavit reads.

During an interview with the Northwest Unit for Special Investigations, the girl told police she felt “very scared of what was happening” at the time of the incident.

On a recorded phone call between Cyr and the alleged victim’s mother, Cyr becomes agitated and fluctuates between understanding the mother’s concerns and strongly denying the allegations, according to the documents.

“100%. There’s no f—ing way I did that…and I’m telling you right now there’s no way…that…you…you or anybody could say. ‘Well, maybe you did it and you don’t remember?’” Cyr said to the victim’s mother, according to the documents.

“No, it is not possible. It did not happen and it is not possible that I am not remembering it because it didn’t f—ing happen,” he told law enforcement, according to the documents.

At one point, Cyr confirmed that he was on the bed with the girls but says “it doesn’t mean I touched her.”

Cyr later tells police he “purposely” left the door open and the lights on when he fell asleep with both girls in his bed.

“The defendant said that the girls were laying on each one of his arms…The defendant said that cartoons were on the TV and that he fell asleep soon after,” the police affidavit reads.

On Monday, Cyr was released on conditions.

Cyr’s attorney, Brooks McArthur, did not respond to a request for comment.

If convicted, Cyr faces between 2-15 years in prison.

The case was referred to CUSI’s sister unit, the Northern Unit for Special Investigations. Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo said earlier this month, the allegations had to be investigated with “complete impartiality.”

“An allegation like this against a retired police officer will always be painful and disappointing, but given Art Cyr’s prior role of supervising the county’s child abuse investigations, it is especially troubling,” del Pozo said upon Cyr’s arrest earlier this month. “I am confident that the Vermont State Police has conducted a thorough and impartial investigation that has treated Mr. Cyr like anyone else, and that will help get to the bottom of the allegation.”

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