May 20, 2018
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Hermon man using alias charged after sexually assaulting ex-girlfriend, police say

Penobscot County PD | BDN
Penobscot County PD | BDN
John Crowell
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — A Hermon man accused of choking a Bangor woman he once dated and trying to sexually assault her in March was arrested by Orono police on Monday.

John Crowell, 34, was indicted last week by the Penobscot County grand jury for felony Class B aggravated assault and attempted gross sexual assault, as well as attempted unlawful sexual contact and unlawful sexual touching.

Crowell was arrested on Monday for the four crimes and taken to Penobscot County Jail. He posted a $10,000 cash bail on Tuesday and was released, a jail official said Wednesday.

The charges stem from a police report filed by an 18-year-old woman from Bangor who has since turned 19. She said on the evening of March 26, a man named “Mike Buckley” who she dated for several months last year contacted her wanting to take a ride to Lowe’s, the affidavit filed by Orono police Officer Derek Dinsmore and police report by Sgt. Scott Scripture stated.

Police discovered that the man she described as her 22-year-old ex-boyfriend was in fact a much older John Crowell after she pointed out his home in Hermon and picked him out of a photo lineup.

She was “quite surprised to hear that the man she had a sexual relationship with was not the person she thought,” the affidavit states. She said she broke up with him in December 2012 because he “showed signs of jealousy” and was being “possessive.”

After receiving the text asking her to go to Lowe’s, the woman agreed to meet her ex-boyfriend. He took her instead to an unfinished housing development in Orono, where she said he removed his pants and underwear and asked for oral sex. The woman said she refused and reported that Crowell tried to force her head toward his groin, groped her breasts and attempted to put his hand down her pants.

“He grabbed her neck three separate times, according to her, each time she managed to push him away,” the police report states. “He grabbed her a fourth time, but this time was more severe as he squeezed her neck so that she could not breathe.”

The woman managed to get away from Crowell and used her cellphone to call a friend who came to pick her up. The friend took her to Bangor Police Department to file a report and she was referred to Orono Police Department because of the location of the assault. The Orono police station was closed when she arrived, so Scripture interviewed her the following day.

Alice Clifford, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, said Crowell has a criminal history that includes an assault in May 2003 that sent him to jail for 55 days.

“That victim was young,” the prosecutor said.

He also has a conviction for possession of scheduled drugs around the same time that resulted in jail time, she said. Crowell entered a guilty plea for obstruction of correspondence in U.S. District Court during May 1999 that resulted in 12 months behind bars and 36 months of supervised release after his release, according to federal court documents.

He also entered a guilty plea in June 1998 on two counts of making false statements to a financial institution and was sentenced to 30 days in jail for each and 36 months of supervised release, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.

Because he violated the law while on probation, “his supervised release was revoked and he served 10 months,” Clifford said.

Crowell, who faces a penalty of up to 10 years in prison if convicted of either the aggravated assault or the attempted gross sexual assault, is scheduled to appear in Penobscot County Superior Court on July 1.

To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.

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