POLICE BEAT

Stockton Springs rape suspect still at large; more details of crime released

Posted May 11, 2012, at 12:27 p.m.
The suspect in a reportedly violent sexual assault of a 61-year-old woman in her Stockton Springs home has a distinctive anchor-shaped scar on the right side of his face, as depicted in this image.
Waldo County Sheriff's Office
The suspect in a reportedly violent sexual assault of a 61-year-old woman in her Stockton Springs home has a distinctive anchor-shaped scar on the right side of his face, as depicted in this image.
The suspect in a reportedly violent sexual assault of a 61-year-old woman in her Stockton Springs home may have the word &quothate" tattooed on the fingers on his left hand, similar to this image.
Waldo County Sheriff's Office
The suspect in a reportedly violent sexual assault of a 61-year-old woman in her Stockton Springs home may have the word "hate" tattooed on the fingers on his left hand, similar to this image.

BELFAST, Maine — Police continued to ask for the public’s help Friday as they keep searching for the man who is believed to have violently sexually assaulted a 61-year-old Stockton Springs woman in her home earlier this week.

“Part of our whole existence is for people to feel safe in their homes,” Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office said Friday. “This violates the sanctity of the home.”

He released more details about the Monday assault, which began when the assailant rang the woman’s doorbell at about 3:30 p.m. Trafton said that the home was “off the main drag” of quiet Stockton Springs and located close to the elementary school on Church Street.

When the woman went to the door, the man — a stranger to the victim — told her he had been a former tenant of the home and had left some items on the back porch. She let him in and started to lead him to the porch.

“When they reached the back area of the house, he assaulted her to the point where she might have gone unconscious,” Trafton said. “When she came to, he was gone.”

The woman called for help and was taken to Waldo County General Hospital, where she was treated and released.

She was able to identify her attacker to responding emergency officials. She said he is between 35 and 45 years old and six feet tall. He has dark hair, hazel eyes and a distinctive, anchor-shaped scar on the right side of his face.

He also has tattoos on the fingers of both hands, according to Trafton, and the word “hate” is possibly tattooed on his left fingers.

The man was driving a blue car with a large white decal or emblem on the hood.

“If all that sounds at all familiar to anyone in the area, we ask that they give us a call,” the chief deputy said.

According to Trafton, images released Thursday that show where the scar is on his face and what the finger tattoos might look like have generated a few tips, including two on Friday morning.

One tip was what he described as “workable” but it led to a man who has a goatee and no scar. The attacker was clean-shaven.

“If people have anything, even if it feels insignificant, we’ll run it down,” Trafton said.

Police believe there are indications the man is familiar with the Stockton Springs area. He knew that the house was a rental home, for example.

“We’ve tracked down past renters and don’t believe he was a renter,” Trafton said.

The state police crime lab is now processing evidence, including DNA evidence, collected at the scene, but that takes time, he said.

And although the woman worked with police to generate a composite sketch of the attacker, it was an unsuccessful effort.

“Sometimes the composites don’t work out,” Trafton said. “This [would have been] a really traumatic experience for any woman. For anyone.”

He said that police are continuing to suggest that people stay vigilant and take care.

“Part of what we feel is one of our responsibilities as police is that feeling of safety and security. It’s a big part of our society,” he said. “Maine usually ranks at the top of the lists of the safest states in the country. We’d like to keep it that way.”

Anyone with information about the case can call the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office at 338-2040.

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