SKOWHEGAN — A Dexter man arrested Sunday in Cambridge on charges that he broke into a woman’s home with the intent of committing gross sexual assault has a history of crimes that sent him to prison, authorities said this week.

Mark Meech, 48, had parked his truck near the home of the alleged victim and knocked on her door Sunday, saying he had broken down and needed to use the telephone, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said Monday. He then allegedly forced his way into her home, dragging her across the kitchen before suddenly letting go of the woman and running out the door, according to court documents.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said this week that Meech was convicted of criminal threatening and reckless conduct in 2008 in Piscataquis County for an incident involving an Embden woman in Elliotsville in 2007 and was sentenced to 364 days in jail.

Meech encountered the woman on a hiking trail and later attempted to commandeer her vehicle, according to a published report.

At the time, Meech was on probation for a 2002 conviction on four counts of burglary and one count of cruelty to animals. In that case, Meech and another man reportedly had burglarized the homes, and at one, Meech shot and killed a dog and seriously injured another. Meech was sentenced to eight years in prison with all but four years suspended and put on probation for four years.

He was convicted of another burglary in 2001 in Somerset County, Maloney said, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Meech made his initial appearance in court Monday in Skowhegan on the recent charges. He is charged with Class B felony burglary for allegedly entering the woman’s home with the intent of sexually assaulting her. He is charged additionally with Class B felony count of burglary for breaking in with the intent of committing assault, according to court documents. He also is charged with obstructing the report of a crime for allegedly preventing the Cambridge woman from calling police.

When the alleged victim handed the phone to Meech through a small opening in the front door on Sunday, Meech allegedly grabbed the victim’s wrist and forced his way into the home, slamming the door behind him, according to a probable cause affidavit for his arrest filed by Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Jackson.

Meech then knocked the phone out of the woman’s hand, grabbed her by the upper arms and dragged her across the kitchen to another room, according to the affidavit.

“The man leans in and tries to kiss her …,” then suddenly states, “alright, I won’t” and ran out the door, Jackson wrote in the affidavit.

A neighbor saw Meech’s truck parked in his field and made contact with Meech as he was fleeing the scene not knowing what had transpired, Lancaster said. The neighbor later reported the incident to police. The alleged victim also called police.

Meech is being held at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison on $50,000 cash bail. He entered no plea to the charges Monday.

A conference date is set for a meeting with a judge and Meech’s court-appointed attorney on Sept. 27, with a trial date set tentatively for Nov. 6.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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Twitter:@Doug_Harlow