Former Cranston councilman, mayoral candidate arrested on assault charge

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — Former Cranston City Councilman and Democratic City Committee Chairman Michael Sepe has been charged with simple assault.

Sepe was arraigned Thursday morning and pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor simple assault charge.

According to court records, the alleged assault happened in March of 2022 in Cranston.

An affidavit says a woman came to report a sexual in nature offense to Cranston police in March of 2023.

The woman told police that she went to Sepe’s accountant office in Cranston on March 5, 2022 for a tax consultation.

The woman told police during that consultation Sepe made comments that were “sexual and flirtatious in nature” and at one point he “grabbed ahold of (her) hips and kissed her on the lips while inserting his tongue into her mouth,” according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, the woman did not report the matter at the time, but was reminded of the incident after Sepe texted her “Sorry about last year.”

Sepe’s attorney, John Calcagni, issued the following statement:

Mr. Sepe was informed weeks ago of a year-old allegation of simple assault. He cooperated with police during its investigation. After learning charges would be filed, he surrendering himself this morning to Cranston Police. He is 76 years-old with no criminal record. He has tirelessly and honorably served the people of Cranston and Rhode Island for his entire adult life. His reputation is beyond reproach. The allegation against Mr. Sepe is stale, uncorroborated, and completely uncharacteristic. Mr. Sepe maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court.

Sepe served on the Cranston City Council from 1984 to 1996. He also was long-time Chairman of the Cranston City Democratic Committee.

He also ran for mayor twice, most recently in a losing effort against Allan Fung in 2016.

The news of Sepe’s arrest comes less than two weeks after the arrest of now former Cranston councilman and Republican City Committee Chairman Matthew Reilly. 

ABC 6 News has reached out to Cranston police for more details surrounding the arrest.

Categories: News, Rhode Island