CHINA — A town resident is jailed after allegedly invading a home and sexually assaulting the occupant, a female neighbor.

According to a Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office press release, James Bickford, 33, has been charged with two Class A crimes — robbery and gross sexual assault, along with Class B burglary and Class D assault.

As of Saturday afternoon, he was at the Kennebec County jail. His bail has been set at $250,000 and he is expected to be arraigned Monday.

The release said sheriff’s deputies were called to a Dirigo Road residence at approximately 10:45 p.m. Friday night. There, the victim, 21, said she was alone in her home around 10:30 that night when she heard the locked front door’s handle moving.

A man entered, wearing a black T-shirt, jeans, gloves and a ski mask.

Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty said the victim was fairly new to the small complex and Bickford was a neighbor.


The victim, whose husband left for work 10 minutes before the attack, said the suspect punched her in the face and put what she thought was a gun to her back, the release said.

The man allegedly had alcohol on his breath, demanded money, forced the victim to undress and sexually assaulted her. She was able to escape, slamming the suspect’s arm in a door. She then ran out of the residence. Neighbors heard her screaming and came to her aid, the release says.

The sheriff’s office said the man then fled to his own house and was located by deputies. The department got a search warrant and found what they called “significant amount of physical and testimonial evidence” for Bickford’s arrest.

The release said Bickford has a criminal record — he was convicted of operating under the influence in 2010, assault in 2009 and theft in 2000.

Michael Shepherd — 621-5662

[email protected]

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