Admitted child molester asked for life in prison, police say

James Lanier, 33, was charged in March with sexually assaulting a girl and subsequently confessed to sexual assaults on a total of four children

By Alex Wood
Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn.

MANCHESTER, Conn. — A man who was charged in March with sexually assaulting a girl in Vernon subsequently confessed to sexual assaults on a total of four children and said he wanted to spend the rest of his life in prison, according to police affidavits.

James A. Lanier, 33, who has lived in East Hartford, Manchester, and Vernon, is facing sexual assault cases filed by police in each of those towns.

Two of the cases, in Manchester and Vernon, include charges of first-degree sexual assault, which carries up to 25 years in prison when the victim is younger than 16, which the charges indicate is true in both those cases.

In the Manchester case, an affidavit by Officer Tomasz Kaczerski quotes a girl as describing sexual abuse by Lanier when she was as young as 5. In that case, Lanier is accused of sexually assaulting the girl in 2016 through 2018, and he faces charges that he committed first-degree sexual assaults against her in each of those years.

Under Connecticut law, any first-degree sexual assault on a child younger than 10 carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years.

Lanier is being held on $600,000 bond, online records show.

Vernon police first arrested Lanier on March 11, accusing him of committing third-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child the day before.

In a video-recorded interview after that arrest, Lanier at first denied wrongdoing, according to Kaczerski's affidavit in the Manchester case.

But Lanier then agreed to make a statement to police and gave a detailed account of his sexual history, starting with sexual abuse he said he experienced starting when he was 6 and continuing at least until he was 11, according the officer.

Lanier went on to admit to sexually molesting other children starting when he was 18, Kaczerski reported.

Lanier is accused of molesting a girl in East Hartford in 2011-2012, the Manchester girl in 2016-2018, and a child in Vernon in 2019, in addition to the March 10 sexual assault on the girl in Vernon, court records show.

During the March 11 interview with Vernon police, Lanier "said on multiple occasions that he wanted to spend the rest of his life in prison, and that he could not be out and around people," Kaczerski reported. " James Lanier also smiled on several occasions after providing the statement, noting that he had never told anyone all the things he had done, and he felt much better."

The officer added that Lanier said he "hoped he had saved kids with his interview because he did not feel he should be let out of prison."

Lanier did, however, subsequently decline to be interviewed in jail by Kaczerski or East Hartford police Officer Briahna C. Martin, the officers reported in separate affidavits.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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