Soldier charged in death of wife, rape of child

JBLM: Article 32 hearing next month

alexis.krell@thenewstribune.comNovember 14, 2012 

The Army has charged a soldier in an August homicide at Joint Base Lewis-McChord that the victim’s family said was the result of the soldier fatally stabbing his wife.

Sgt. Robert S. Chiaravallotti, 41, is charged with murder, rape of a child and assault of a child. The alleged murder and assault involved a stabbing, according to the charging document.

The Army previously said it was investigating an Aug. 25 homicide at JBLM and had apprehended a suspect who was a soldier not assigned to the base.

The charges, recently obtained by The News Tribune, were signed Sept. 7. The papers do not go into detail but allege Chiaravallotti fatally stabbed a woman and raped and stabbed on the forehead a child under age 16.

Chiaravallotti’s pretrial hearing, known as an Article 32 hearing, is scheduled for December. An Army judicial officer will recommend whether the case should go forward or be modified.

Chiaravallotti was assigned to the Eighth Army Band in South Korea, according to the Army.

The charging papers do not name the woman killed, but Teresa Glowacki contacted The News Tribune in August and identified herself as the victim’s mother. She said her daughter, Dionne Elizabeth Chiaravallotti, had been fatally stabbed by her husband, Robert S. Chiaravallotti.

Dionne Chiaravallotti, who would have been 40 on Thanksgiving, had five children with Robert Chiaravallotti and two previous husbands, her mother said. The youngest just started kindergarten, and the oldest is 18.

Glowacki said her daughter moved to JBLM in June 2011 after living in Huntington Beach, Calif., for about a year with a relative while her husband was in Afghanistan.

The family had planned to join him in South Korea, Glowacki said.

Glowacki remembered her daughter as an active child who trained as an ice skater in junior high school and was in several beauty competitions as a teenager.

Her elementary school in Newport Beach, Calif., was about 100 yards from the ocean, so that’s where family and friends spread some of her ashes in September.

The sea was a big part of her upbringing.

As a teen, she lived with her mother and stepfather on a 52-foot boat. They traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Panama – “through the canal, of course,” Glowacki said. They put 35,000 miles on the boat.

It made for a hands-on education, Glowacki said.

At each port, her daughter would write a report about the history of the area for her correspondence classes. The family spent two months visiting the museums at the Smithsonian Institution.

Dionne Chiaravallotti earned her GED and attended culinary school.

She was interested in cooking “from Day 1,” Glowacki said. “She could make anything.”

Her goal was to be featured on “Hell’s Kitchen,” and she dreamed of one day going to Italy.

Mother and daughter cooked together when she was little, and the grandchildren reaped the benefits.

“Those kids ate better than most people eat anywhere,” Glowacki said. “I wish I could have protected her more. It’s hard when it’s your only baby.”

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268 alexis.krell@thenewstribune.com

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