ROCKLAND, Maine — The man accused of raping a Camden woman at knife point late Tuesday night had threatened to kill her before forcing her to perform sexual acts for three hours, according to police.
Bradley W. Lemay, 44, of Augusta was described as a “serial rapist” by state prosecutors Thursday afternoon during his arraignment at Knox County Superior Court on charges of gross sexual assault, burglary, criminal trespass, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, assault and eluding a police officer.
Judge Joseph Field set Lemay’s bail at $500,000 cash or $750,000 surety and included a multitude of conditions, such as having no contact with the victim and not being allowed to possess dangerous weapons or firearms.
Lemay kept his shaved head down as Knox County Assistant District Attorney Chris Fernald briefly outlined for the judge the two 1989 convictions for kidnapping and gross sexual misconduct in York County that landed him in Maine State Prison for 21 years.
He had been convicted of kidnapping a woman at knife point and of breaking into the home of another and forcing her to perform sexual acts at knife point, Fernald said. Lemay was sentenced to 35 years for the crimes and was released recently. As a juvenile, he had been convicted of seven burglaries and one rape and had been sentenced to the Maine Youth Center.
“We’re talking about someone the state views as a serial rapist,” Fernald said. “Based upon that history and the fact he hasn’t been out very long, the state feels that although the bail is quite high, it’s appropriate here.”
After his release from Maine State Prison, Lemay had been living in an apartment in Augusta and working for a landscaping firm in Nobleboro, according to attorney William Pagnano, who represented Lemay on Thursday.
“He was in counseling in Augusta,” Pagnano said, suggesting that the bail not be set “excessively” high. “He’s had regular contact with his parents. There is some degree of stability there.”
Fernald said that the state likely would be asking for a sentence that is longer than 30 years, probably in the “40- to 50-” year range.
“He’s certainly a flight risk,” he said, asking for bail to be set at $500,000 cash or $1 million surety.
The officer who interviewed the Camden woman allegedly assaulted by Lemay wrote in his report that she had met Lemay before because he had done landscaping work on her property. Officer Curt Andrick of the Camden Police Department interviewed the woman at 4 a.m. Wednesday at Penobscot Bay Medical Center.
Lemay had menaced her with the knife inside her bedroom beginning late Tuesday night, the woman told Andrick. He also told the woman that “he has killed before and will kill her,” the officer wrote in his report.
After the hours of alleged forced sexual assault, Lemay left her home in his car at about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday, and the woman called 911 to report the crime. She said that the suspect had just left her home in an “old state police cruiser-type vehicle” and that his first name was Bradley.
Officer Dan Brown of Rockport responded to the emergency call and searched the area around the woman’s residence. When a John Street resident called to complain that a car had driven over the resident’s lawn, Brown went there and saw a Ford Crown Victoria driving without headlights near French’s Garage.
“The vehicle was operating without lights, and at high speed,” Brown wrote in his report. “At this point my lights and sirens were on, and the chase was in progress.”
Brown called in the car’s license plate number, which was registered to Lemay, and by using spotlights aimed at the rear window, he saw that the male driver had a shaved head.
“I confirmed with dispatch that I was chasing a fleeing felon, who just committed a violent crime, involving a deadly weapon,” Brown wrote. “Dispatch stated that was correct.”
The high-speed chase ran through Camden, Hope and back to Camden. In Hope, Lemay “barely missed” colliding with an older-model Ford truck, but spun out in a driveway and continued on to Route 235 back toward Camden, Brown wrote.
Lemay led officers through downtown Camden at speeds of 80 to 85 mph — but the roads in the normally traffic-choked downtown were clear at that hour, Brown said in the report.
The chase continued south on Route 1 and led past the street where the alleged assault had occurred. Brown radioed to the Rockland Police Department and requested that spike mats be used to stop Lemay’s vehicle.
The cars raced past Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport at 100 mph and continued toward the mats — which had been set up on the Rockland-Rockport town line and on Old County Road.
“As Lemay and I neared the spike mats, I slowed and let Lemay get further ahead of me,” Brown wrote. “Lemay hit the spike mat … and I closed my distance on Lemay again.”
The spike mat had done its work, the officer wrote, and had flattened at least two tires on Lemay’s car. When the felon tried to take a sharp turn into the Shore Village Apartments on Camden Street in Rockland, he lost control and crashed into the shrubbery. Although it appeared that Lemay was going to try to leave the car, he couldn’t, Brown wrote. The driver’s door was held closed by the shrubbery.
“With gun drawn, I ordered Lemay to place his hands on the roof of the vehicle and not to move,” Brown wrote.
Lemay complied with the police orders, and then four other law enforcement officers arrived on the scene. One used his baton to break the passenger-side window, and Lemay was taken out of the car and handcuffed.
Lemay has been held at Knox County Jail since his arrest. He will appear in Knox County Superior Court on Aug. 25 for a court conference, according to Judge Field.