Suspect in death of Vermont student to be arraigned Monday on unrelated sex charges
MONTPELIER, Vt. – The case of a University of Vermont student found dead six days after vanishing will shift to a courtroom Monday, where a suspect in her disappearance is to make his first appearance on unrelated charges.Brian L. Rooney, 36, is scheduled to be arraigned in state District Court in the northern Vermont town of St. Johnsbury on charges of sexual assault on a minor. He is also charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor in neighboring Essex County, more than 80 miles east of the University of Vermont’s campus in Burlington.The Essex County charge dates to an incident in 1998. Both charges were brought as a result of information that came to light as police investigated him in connection with the disappearance of Michelle Gardner-Quinn.Police say he is a suspect in Gardner-Quinn’s disappearance, but he hasn’t been charged.Meanwhile, a memorial service for Gardner-Quinn was scheduled Sunday night at the Burlington campus.Gardner-Quinn, 21, of Arlington, Va., was last seen Oct. 7 walking up Main Street in Burlington with Rooney after borrowing his cell phone in a bid to reunite with friends she had been out with. Rooney, who was seen walking alongside her in surveillance camera footage shot by a jewelry store camera at 2:34 a.m., was apparently the last person to see her alive, according to police.Hikers found her body in a rocky ravine Friday. An autopsy was performed Saturday, but police have yet to give a cause of death or say when she died.Rooney, a construction worker and father of three, has been jailed without bail since his arrest Friday.—On the Net:Burlington Police Department: http://www.bpdvt.org
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