Ex-Dulos lawyer avoids rape conviction, sentenced for violating protective order

Jun. 20—Suspended lawyer Kent D. Mawhinney, who has lived in South Windsor and Manchester and was accused of raping his estranged wife, emerged Friday with no rape conviction but with a conviction for violating a family violence protective order issued after he was accused of the rape.

The lawyer, Kent D. Mawhinney, 56, received a five-year suspended sentence and three years' probation in Hartford Superior Court for violating the protective order, online court records show.

A murder conspiracy charge remains pending against him in Stamford Superior Court. He is accused of conspiring with the late Fotis Dulos of Farmington in the murder of Dulos' estranged wife, Jennifer Farber Dulos. Mawhinney is free on $246,000 bond in that case, online court record show.

The Mawhinney's protective order violation consisted of having Dulos, his friend and law client, contact Mawhinney's wife in a purported attempt at reconciliation.

Mawhinney's wife — who complained to South Windsor police about the approach by Dulos after Dulos' wife disappeared — told police that Dulos tried to lure her to his Farmington home. She said she believed her husband wanted her dead and that Dulos was working with her husband to get rid of her, according to a South Windsor police report.

Fotis Dulos was subsequently charged with murdering his wife, and Mawhinney was charged with conspiring in the murder.

Dulos committed suicide when he was on the verge of being sent to jail in lieu of high bond on the murder case.

Mawhinney's wife, who is now divorced from him, accused him of raping her repeatedly in the early hours of Jan. 21, 2019. The incidents occurred after he had filed for divorce. They were still both living in their South Windsor home but permanently sleeping in separate rooms, she told police.

She "looked visibly upset" when reported the rape later that day, according to a report by South Windsor police Officer Edmund J. Klein.

Mawhinney denied the accusation, saying his wife had initiated and consented to the sexual activity, the officer reported. But he added that Mawhinney declined to give police a written, sworn statement.

In court Friday, the spousal rape charge against Mawhinney was nolled, or dropped, Hearst Connecticut Newspapers reported. The charge can theoretically be revived in the next 13 months, although that almost never happens.

Under his plea agreement, Mawhinney was convicted of violating the protective order under the Alford doctrine, meaning that he didn't admit guilt but acknowledged that the prosecution's evidence, if believed by a jury, was sufficient for a conviction at trial, Hearst reported.

Mawhinney's ex-wife spoke at length in court Friday, alleging that Mawhinney had repeatedly abused her, financially and sexually, during their five-year marriage, Hearst reported.

But Hartford State's Attorney Sharmese Walcott told Judge Kevin Doyle that the woman's sexual-assault allegations couldn't be proven, according to Hearst. She said the accusations had been found not credible by a family-court judge during the divorce and by a judge who heard the woman's request for a civil restraining order in July 2020, according to Hearst.

There was physical evidence corroborating the woman's claims, however. She told South Windsor police that Mawhinney put his hands around her neck and squeezed, hurting her but not cutting off her oxygen, before she pushed him off her. Klein reported that he and another officer saw a dark discoloration on the woman's neck consistent with a bruise.

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