Published Date Written by Staff Reporter
A Maine women, stranded on a rural Sebago road after her vehicle was stuck on the ice Saturday, told police she was beaten in the face and raped by a passerby who pretended to offer assistance.
The 41-year-old woman reportedly slid off the road and sat stranded until the suspect drove by and coaxed her out of the vehicle. The woman, who was on her way home, was then assaulted, said Chief Deputy Naldo Gagnon, of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.
"She was beat(en) in her face as well as violently attacked," he said. "We find this horrific in our community."
The unidentified man fled the scene following the assault and after stealing money from the woman's car, Gagnon said.
"She was treated and released from a hospital, and evidence was obtained, which we are going to have processed," he said, referring to DNA that was collected.
Gagnon explained the DNA will be processed in a lab sometime today, adding he hopes to find that the suspect is "in the system," and that authorities will be able to find a match.
"We believe him to be dangerous," he said.
The attack happened in what police described as a "remote area" located in the town of Sebago — located about 30 miles northwest of Portland.
Police would not say where the vehicle went off the road, but they said that no other vehicles drove by during the attack. Officials also declined to say how the woman eventually got home and called police.
"We're going to chase everything down we possibly can," Gagon said.
The sheriff's office released a composite rendering of what the suspect may look like and described him as being 6 feet tall, approximately 170 pounds and wearing gold-framed glasses.
The suspect was said to be driving a grey or dark color GMC full-size pickup truck that has a "Ski-Doo" sticker on the right lower corner of the back window, according to officials. The truck was towing two snowmobiles — one red and one yellow.
Gagnon said the truck also had New Hampshire license plates, and that local officials have already been in contact with New Hampshire authorities.
He said drivers who find themselves stranded on the side of the road in rural areas should be cautious of people who approach their vehicle.
Stay in the vehicle, keep it locked and only roll down the window partially, Gagnon said, noting that a stranded motorist should exchange information and ask people to get help for them.
"If it's a person in another vehicle who doesn't have a means to pull you back up on the road, I would ask anybody to call for (help instead) in those cases," Gagnon said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Jim Estabrook at 774-1444 ext: 2108 or the sheriff's anonymous hotline at 774-1444, ext: 2208.