I-Team: Pawtucket officer suspended as case heads to trial
A Pawtucket police officer charged with domestic assault and disorderly conduct has been suspended from his job with pay.
An ex-girlfriend told police that Steven Ricco assaulted her, while on duty and in uniform.
Ricco appeared in Providence District Court on Wednesday for a pretrial hearing as the domestic violence case against him moves forward. The judge set a trial date of April 17.
A police report obtained by the I-Team revealed disturbing details about what led to the officer's arrest.
According to the report, the woman accusing Ricco " was crying and upset ... and said she was afraid of Ricco."
Later, the report says when the woman told him she was pregnant with his child, he demanded she get an abortion, but she refused.
"... Ricco became irate punching the inside of her car ... Ricco turned to her and pushed her in the chest area."
Ricco's attorney responded to the allegations in an exclusive interview with NBC 10.
"At first blush when I read them, I got the impression that probably you did. They're pretty absurd, pretty outrageous," defense attorney John Harwood said of the charges against his client.
The police report also describes a frightening incident involving the officer's gun.
"... Ricco pulled out his service weapon ... he told her to go ahead and kill him ... She said that she thought she was going to die."
The woman in the police report isn't the only woman to come forward. A second woman whose identity NBC 10 concealed told her story to chief I-Team reporter Jim Taricani.
The second woman told NBC 10 she had sex with Ricco while he was on duty and in uniform. She also said Ricco became violent during their relationship, once punching a wall near her head. No criminal charges have been filed in her case.
"I have no knowledge of those allegations," Harwood said of the second woman who spoke to NBC 10. "I'm only focusing on this case."
In court, Harwood told the judge he plans to subpoena records from a domestic violence shelter where the alleged victim stayed, a motion that domestic violence groups told NBC 10 the shelter will likely challenge in court.
"We just want to get some background history on the alleged victim and see if it matches up with the statements that she has made in the criminal complaint against Officer Ricco," Harwood said.