Gail Shefelbine – Enabing mother of sexual predator charge with perjury

The mother of a Tolland man serving 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting several teenage girls was charged Monday with nine counts of perjury.

Prosecutors in Superior Court in Rockville are accusing Gail L. Shefelbine, 66, of lying while testifying during a July 2007 court hearing concerning her son’s case.

Shefelbine turned herself in Monday morning at the courthouse and posted $7,500 bail. She is due back in court Nov. 25 for arraignment.

Scott Shefelbine, 33, was sentenced Oct. 20 to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting five girls, ages 14 to 18.

At the July 2007 hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Elizabeth C. Leaming asked Judge Stanley T. Fuger Jr. to revoke Shefelbine’s $1.5 million bail, contending he violated the terms of his release and continued to seek out young girls to sexually assault.

Scott Shefelbine was being electronically monitored and was permitted to leave his parents’ Tolland home only for medical and legal appointments and to attend church. He left at other times, the state charged, to meet young girls.

According to the warrant for her arrest, Gail Shefelbine lied nine times during the hearing.

When called to account for those unauthorized trips, Shefelbine’s mother and sister testified that he was attending church services or counseling sessions. Gail Shefelbine presented church bulletins she said she obtained during the services as well as photos of her and her son in front of a church. The state contends Gail Shefelbine also lied about when her son grew a beard, which was an issue at the hearing. Teenagers he tried to assault while he was free on bail reported that he was cleanshaven. At the hearing he had a beard, and his mother insisted he’d had it for many months.

Bart Zamichiei, an inspector in the Tolland state’s attorney’s office, checked the facts in Gail Shefelbine’s testimony.

She testified that she and her son attended a church service Easter Sunday night at St. Maurice Church in Bolton. “St. Maurice was on Easter night,” Gail Shefelbine testified. “They had an evening service. Very few people had an evening service.”

The Rev. William Olesic, the pastor at St. Maurice 20 years, told Zamichiei that St. Maurice had no Mass on Easter Sunday night.

Zamichiei also interviewed people at other churches who said that in the weeks before the July 2007 hearing Gail Shefelbine, sometimes with her son, appeared and asked for church bulletins from several months prior. She also asked church officials to sign those bulletins.

Some of those bulletins were then submitted as evidence at the hearing.

In one case, Gail Shefelbine testified that she and her son attended a service at the Victory Tabernacle Church in Middlefield the week of the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech shootings. In court, she presented a bulletin from the April 19, 2007 service.

Later, Zamichiei interviewed the church’s pastor, who told him that Gail Shefelbine appeared at the church in June 2007 asking for a bulletin from the April 19 service. She claimed to be helping to prepare a collage for a friend’s daughter killed at Virginia Tech, the pastor told Zamichiei. The pastor refused to give her an original bulletin, but did give her a copy. He also refused her request to sign it.

After the July 2007 hearing, Fuger ordered Scott Shefelbine to jail and said he found the testimony of his family to be “lacking in credibility.”

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