Man accused of child sexual assault kills self in Newfane

Wednesday March 6, 2013

NEWFANE -- A man accused of bribing a boy with money and gifts to get him to perform sexual favors over a 12-year span was found dead on South Wardsboro Road Tuesday afternoon.

According to a press release from the Vermont State Police, the death of Frank Meyer, 39, of West Haven, Conn., "was consistent with that of suicide."

Meyer and Brett Bartolotta, 42, a former West Haven volunteer firefighter who now lives in Cavendish, were arrested Feb. 27 and eventually charged with aggravated sexual assault and slave trafficking in Windsor County. They were both released on conditions after posting $50,000 bail.

The arrest warrant issued for Meyer and Bartolotta stated the pair engaged in a lengthy sexual relationship with a minor in Vermont until February. The alleged victim is now 25. They were arrested in Ludlow after a sting operation in which the victim wore a wire.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the Vermont State Police responded to South Wardsboro Road after being notified of a possible suicide.

Troopers from the Brattleboro Barracks responded immediately to the scene. Upon confirming a deceased adult male, detectives from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Troop D and the local medical examiner were contacted to respond. The Windham County State's Attorney's Office was also notified.

Meyer is scheduled for an autopsy today at the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Burlington. No further information on Meyer's death will be released until the autopsy is completed and the investigation report has been released.

Following his arraignment, Meyer returned to West Haven. He was placed on leave from his city dispatcher job after he was arrested. It's unclear at this time when and why he went back to Vermont.

Meyer was a volunteer firefighter for the West Haven Fire Department and had been a 911 dispatcher for the city of West Haven since 1999, according to city officials.

He was also the captain of the explorer program, a department program for youths. Bartolotta also served as a past president of the Explorers.

Susan Misur from the New Haven Register contributed to this report.


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