According to the VTD Digger, a former Vermont State Police trooper has been charged for repeatedly sexually assaulting a minor.
Todd Chisholm, 56-years-old, has been charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault with fear of imminent bodily injury, and one count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.
According to the victim, Chisholm allegedly began abusing her when she was 9-years-old, and he was 40. The victim reported that Chisholm promised they would be together when she got older and that he loved her. During which time he was allegedly molesting her. She alleges that Chisholm raped her two times before she was 15-years-old. Once when she slept over at his house and his daughter was in the bed next to them and once on a motorcycle. According to court documents, at the time, Chisholm was having an affair with the victim’s mother. After Chisholm’s wife became aware of the abuse of the minor, they divorced.
Chisholm allegedly admitted what he had done to the Pastor of Vernon Adventist Church, but specifics of what he said are unclear. Chisholm called his ex-wife many times, apologizing and asking her to convince the minor victim not to press charges. In a conversation with the victim, Chisholm claims he does not remember the abuse but recalls the affair with her mother.
The investigation into Chisholm began in September of 2019 but took a year to find probable cause before arresting him. Chisholm pleaded not guilty to all charges; he faces up to life in prison. Chisholm was released on $250,000 bail.
Attorney Kim Dougherty is an experienced sexual assault victims lawyer who represents victims in civil lawsuits. In an interview, we asked Kim to highlight the legal options of victims who have been sexually assaulted by a state trooper.
"The people trust the police to care for them and ensure their safety in their towns and states by enforcing the law and preventing crime. While most police are trustworthy, unfortunately, some officers use their power and sexually assault people on and off the job. In some cases, the victims of their abuse are children. The victims of these disgraceful crimes by the police should know their legal options."
"Reporting being sexually assaulted by a police officer can be intimidating, but victims have the right to seek justice. After a victim reports an officer for sexually abusing them, there will be a criminal investigation. In some sexual assault cases, not only the police officer is liable, but sometimes potentially, the officer’s employer is considered liable too. The employer of an officer who sexually abuses may be deemed liable for negligence in which their actions enabled the abuse to occur. An example of negligence is if sexual misconduct complaints were previously filed against an officer, but their employer ignored them and permitted the officer to continue working. Victims of sexual abuse and their families should secure an experienced sexual abuse lawyer’s services to determine their legal options."