Maine man charged in home invasion, sexual assault

Posted July 31, 2011, at 8:14 a.m.

CHINA, Maine — A 33-year-old Maine man is in jail on $250,000 bail after he allegedly forced his way into a neighbor’s home with a ski mask over his face and sexually assaulted a woman who lived there.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office says James Bickford of China is charged with robbery, gross sexual assault, burglary and assault.

A 21-year-old woman told investigators a man wearing a ski mask forced his way into her apartment at about 10:30 p.m. Friday minutes after her husband had left for work. She said the man punched her in the face and forced her to undress while placing what she thought was a gun into her back before sexually assaulting her.

Based on the description, deputies were led to a neighbor’s residence, where they arrested Bickford.