China man pleads guilty to breaking into neighbor’s home, sexually assaulting woman

Posted Feb. 01, 2012, at 11:47 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine man has pleaded guilty to breaking into a neighbor’s home in the town of China and sexually assaulting her.

James Bickford pleaded guilty in Kennebec County Superior Court on Tuesday to gross sexual assault and a burglary charge related to the same break-in.

The 21-year-old victim escaped during the attack the night of July 29, and ran naked to another home to get help.

The Kennebec Journal reports that the 33-year-old Bickford is scheduled to be sentenced in March when he faces a maximum of 15 years behind bars under a plea deal with prosecutors.

Authorities say Bickford waited until the woman’s husband went to work, then wearing a ski mask, used a key he had to get into the home. He had a key because he used to live there.

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