A Westfield State University student faced a Connecticut judge Monday afternoon after he allegedly posed as a police officer and kidnapped an exotic dancer.
Connecticut State Police said 21-year-old Aerin Reardon of Topsfield, MA, who lives at the university, responded to a Craigslist ad in which a woman offered exotic dancing services.
Police said Reardon showed up at the woman's home on Main Street in Somers, CT, early Sunday morning.
They said he forced her into his car and drove her to a parking lot in Enfield, CT, and threatened she'd be arrested if she did not cooperate.
The woman's boyfriend dialed 911 to report that a man who claimed to be a police officer had forced the victim into his car, without showing or implying that he had a weapon.
Police said while officers were at the home investigating, the victim and Reardon returned.
Reardon was arrested on charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and impersonating a police officer.
"He has no prior record, has been an intricate part of his university, has a very good average and, needless to say, his family and friends are shocked at the allegations," said Reardon's attorney, Dick Brown.
On Monday, a judge held Reardon on a $100,000 bail.
Brown said this is completely out of his client's character.
"He is very upset about this. He's more concerned about his family, quite frankly, than himself," said Brown.
Reardon has quite an impressive resume. He's been a resident assistant, student ambassador and tour guide at the university, writing on Linked In, "... serve as a resource and role model to students and be available to their needs and concerns."
Students at Westfield State said they're shocked to learn that one of their own would do this.
"It's a little creepy, actually. It's a small school. Everyone knows everyone. It's a little uncomfortable hearing this," said student Tim DeGrasse.
"It's a little scary that someone from here did something like that," said student Amanda Pereirra.
When police arrested Reardon, they found a cell phone, sex assault evidence kit, women's clothing, slippers and a bed sheet.
"There's always more to the story and eventually, hopefully, it will come out in a way that will show that it's not quite what it's perceived to be," said Brown.
The victim was taken to Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford, CT, for an examination.
Aerin Reardon is do back in court on Oct. 18.
In a statement issued to CBS 3, Westfield State University said, "An alleged assault on any individual either on- or off-campus, under any circumstances, is untenable and will not be tolerated. Per our student conduct handbook, an off-campus criminal violation, regardless of any court status, will subject the alleged violator to the Student Conduct Board's disciplinary jurisdiction if the University President/designee at his discretion determines the alleged violator constitutes a danger to persons or property on or off campus, or has engaged in off-campus conduct that affects the welfare of the campus community. We are closely following this matter and will take action accordingly as information becomes available."
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