Former Vermont trooper admits to domestic violence charge

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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CHELSEA, Vt. (WCAX) - A former Vermont State Police detective has pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges.

Nicholas Cianci pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of simple assault, but some say his greater crime is the betrayal of the public’s trust.

“Victims have voices,” said Monica Welch, Cianci’s former fiance.

Cianci admitted he assaulted Welch on more than one occasion in the Bradford home that they shared. At that time, Cianci was a Vermont State Trooper based out of the St. Johnsbury Barracks.

“It’s so hard to come forward. You can do it, and it’s ok to come forward even if they tell you it’s not,” Welch said.

Welch filed a restraining order last year against Cianci that started a months-long investigation. Welch told the court that Cianci said no one would believe her story because he was a trooper.

Nicholas Cianci receives his sentence at the Orange County Courthouse in Chelsea Wednesday.
Nicholas Cianci receives his sentence at the Orange County Courthouse in Chelsea Wednesday.(WCAX)

“It is crucial that they be held accountable. You know, they are in a position of trust. It is all about public safety. And if they are not practicing public safety at home, that is a real issue,” said Grand Isle County State’s Attorney, who prosecuted the case to avoid potential conflicts of interest at the St. Johnsbury Barracks and Orange County State’s Attorney’s Office.

During the investigation, Cianci was first placed on leave. Later, he resigned from the force. Under a plea deal with the state, he received an 18-month deferred sentence. He’ll be on probation and will not be allowed to have any contact with Welch or her young child. And if he steps out of line once, we are going to come back to court. If he violates the abuse prevention order once, we are going to charge him,” DiSabito said.

Speaking in court, Welch said she did not believe justice was fully served in this case. After the hearing, she said she hopes the case might give others the strength they need to share their story. “I want victims to know it’s ok to come forward,” she said.

Both Welch and the judge say that Cianci’s actions do not represent the vast majority of law enforcement officers who are dedicated to public safety.

Click here for resources for victims of domestic violence.

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