Southington man pleads not guilty in high school graduation party sex assault

Published on Tuesday, 18 September 2018 16:03


SOUTHINGTON - A local teenager has pleaded not guilty in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a young girl at a graduation party in June 2017.

Dilan Howard, 20, of 224 Lawncrest Drive, has been accused of having sex with a girl who was so intoxicated that she had blacked out, according to court documents.

Howard, who is free on $5,500 bond, appeared Tuesday, in Bristol Superior Court, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree sexual assault and sale or delivery of alcohol to a minor. He is due back in court on Oct. 15 for a pretrial hearing, after which a judge can make a plea bargain offer.

When Howard was arrested in March, the warrant in the sexual assault case was ordered sealed by a judge, but the affidavit connected to the alcohol-related case provides some insight into what happened the night of the allegations.

According to the three-page document, Howard, who was 18 years old at the time, two-16-year-olds and a 17-year-old were driven by an 18-year-old friend to a house party on June 20, 2017, on Pleasant Street, where some teens were celebrating their graduation from Southington High School. Earlier in the evening, the 18-year-old driver had bought a handle of Captain Morgan rum from someone.

During the party, the rum was left in a book bag outside the home, to hide it from the parents who were hosting the gathering. Throughout the party, the 18-year-old went out to the book bag several times and filled a soft drink cup or a water bottle with rum. He then shared it with Howard and a 16-year-old girl, the warrant said.

The girl later told police she believes she drank about 10 ounces of straight rum in an hour’s time. During the evening, she recalled asking Howard if he was trying to get her drunk, to which he replied, “yes,” according to the warrant.

The girl said she got so drunk that she eventually blacked out. She later woke up in the backseat of a vehicle with Howard, she told police. She was so drunk she couldn’t stand up without being helped. The girl told police that Howard told her they had had sex in the car, according to the warrant.

The warrant also said some of the girl’s family members had shown up to the party, looking for her, and saw her getting out of the vehicle with Howard.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Tuesday, 18 September 2018 16:03. Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2018 16:05.