Bruce Bemer, Glastonbury businessman convicted in sex ring, has settled a string of lawsuits from victims

Hartford Courant
Josh Kovner
July 12, 2019

As he awaits an appeal of his felony human trafficking conviction, Glastonbury businessman Bruce Bemer has settled nearly a dozen lawsuits filed by young men, many with mental illness and drug habits, who were drawn into a sex ring based in Danbury.

Lawyer Gerald Sack of West Hartford confirmed his three clients have settled complaints against Bemer, 65.

“My three cases have been resolved," he said Friday. “The terms of the settlements are confidential.”

Lawyer Joel Faxon of New Haven, who called Bemer a “filthy depraved animal,” said he has reached out-of-court agreements on behalf of eight clients who sued Bemer.

Court records indicate a “withdrawal” of Faxon’s cases is due by Thursday.

When Bemer was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June, Faxon said he hoped the conviction and prison sentence would spur settlements.

They did.

Bemer’s criminal and civil lawyer, Anthony Spinella of Manchester, said his client has a specific motivation to settle the lawsuits.

“He truly believes he will be vindicated in the criminal case,” said Spinella, who argued instructions the trial judge gave the jury before deliberations began were “fatally flawed.”

“The remedy may be a new trial, and if that happens, he wants to be in the best position possible to defend himself," Spinella said. “And that means these other cases are behind him.”

Lawsuits from from several additional victims remain.

Bemer turned down a plea bargain that would have spared him jail time.

At his sentencing hearing after the trial, prosecutor Sharmese Hodge pressed for a 25-year sentence, arguing Bemer’s conduct took a tremendous toll on the men victimized by a “human trafficking ring.”

Spinella pushed for a sentence of probation. Spinella said Bemer didn’t know the young men had been recruited into an organized ring, and that a 25-year prison sentence is what a killer might get.

Bemer remains free on a $750,000 appeal bond.