A man convicted of murder and sexual assault met last night with 100 residents of Groton, Vt., to reassure them that he will live there quietly after his release from prison on Friday. The Associated Press reports that Robert Onorato, 44, told the crowd, “I want to live in this peaceful town just as much as you want a peaceful town…I’d like to be part of this community; I realize that’s going to take some serious time.”
Some local residents already have been vocal in their opposition to his arrival. Hours after a heated town meeting last week where townspeople gathered to discuss the issue, Onorato’s wife, Virginia, was told by neighbors that her car had been set on fire in her driveway.
Resident Annie Crowley said her 11-year-old son was “absolutely petrified” after reading about Onorato’s past in the local newspaper. He was convicted of molesting a nine-year-old boy.
Virginia Onorato said, “I didn’t marry a murderer or a rapist …I married a man who is working his guts out to get a life.” Onorato already has registered as a sex offender as is required, corrections officials said.