A 31-year-old Phippsburg man who police say broke into a woman’s house in April, held her and a small child hostage for 18 hours, and repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted her, has been indicted by a Sagadahoc County grand jury on 18 charges, 15 of them felonies.
Corey H. Ater was indicted on three Class A felony counts of gross sexual assault and one Class A felony count of kidnapping.
Ater was also indicted on felony counts of attempted elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence assault on a child younger than 6 years old, domestic violence terrorizing with a dangerous weapon and reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon; and misdemeanor counts of domestic violence terrorizing, criminal restraint, criminal mischief; and violation of condition of release.
The alleged crimes took place while Ater was out on pre-conviction bail after receiving a deferred disposition, from a previous district attorney, stemming from a previous conviction for operating under the influence and operating after revocation, according to court documents.
Ater was arrested by Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s deputies the evening of April 2, 2019, at the Phippsburg residence.
According to the indictment, Ater sent messages to lure the alleged victim to her home with the intent of assaulting her with a baseball bat.
Sagadahoc County deputy Steven Thibeault, who was at the scene that night, wrote in an affidavit that Ater entered the alleged victim’s Phippsburg home shortly after 2 a.m., restrained her, held a knife to her throat, beat her “badly” with items including a lighter, physically assaulted her and repeatedly sexually assaulted her.
The indictment also alleges that Ater assaulted a child younger than 6 years old.
He also allegedly threatened to kill himself, the woman and the child by connecting the exhaust of a car.
The woman was able to escape to a neighbor’s house, and the neighbor called 911.
According to the affidavit, Ater allegedly admitted that after using cocaine and drinking, he entered the house through a window, had consensual sex with the alleged victim, and said he took the victim’s car in an attempt to kill himself by breathing the gas fumes, while the alleged victim had “a small tube to breath fresh air.”
The charge of attempted elevated aggravated assault involves a third alleged victim, Assistant District Attorney A.J. Chalifour said Wednesday. Also, Chalifour clarified that the child was not in the vehicle when Ater and the woman were allegedly exposed to the exhaust.
Ater is represented by Brunswick attorney Matthew Kanwit. On Tuesday, Kanwit said only that his client is presumed innocent.
Court documents indicate that Ater will undergo a psychological evaluation.
Ater is scheduled to be arraigned June 26 in West Bath District Court. A hearing to terminate his deferred disposition is also scheduled to take place that day.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.