AUGUSTA — Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney called Lorne Sherwood’s December attack on a neighbor “a frightening crime committed by a frightening person.”

That attack has now cost Sherwood, 45, of Augusta, 12 years in prison, time left over from a 1997 sentence for raping and attempting to murder a 14-year-old girl in southern Maine.

Sherwood, 45, pleaded guilty Thursday in Kennebec County Superior Court to assault and terrorizing charges resulting from a Dec. 22 attack on a 32-year-old woman who was his neighbor. Sherwood lived in an apartment at 388 Water St. near Hartford Fire Station.

He was sentenced to 364 days in jail on those misdemeanor charges, the maximum available, and ordered to serve the 12 years remaining from the previous sentence. The victim from the December attack did not attend Thursday’s hearing, although the prosecutor said she had talked with her several times.

In 1996 Sherwood attacked a 14-year-old girl in Biddeford and nearly strangled her to death. Sherwood pleaded guilty to two counts of gross sexual assault and one count of attempting to commit murder, according to online state corrections records. He was sentenced in York County Superior Court to 35 years in prison, with all but 20 years suspended, and six years of probation.

He served 17 years and six months of that sentence and had been out of prison for about 18 months when he assaulted the Augusta woman.

“It was a frightening crime committed by a frightening person,” Maloney said Thursday.

“This is the person that the Augusta Police Department warned the community about when he moved to Augusta,” she said. “His history is terrifying. That’s why the new criminal actions were taken so seriously.”

After his release from prison in June 2013, Sherwood moved to Augusta, initially renting an apartment on Cedar Street, prompting police to canvass the area with fliers announcing his arrival because he is a lifetime registrant on the state’s sex offender registry.

Attorney Pam Ames, who represented Sherwood on Thursday in Kennebec County Superior Court, said Sherwood admitted grabbing the woman, throwing her to the ground and putting his hand over her mouth after she refused his sexual advances. He told her to be quiet “or else her screams would be the last thing she ever does,” according to a police affidavit filed in the case.

Ames said Sherwood described the attack as lasting about 30 seconds before he let the woman go.

“He actually said his sex offender counseling kicked in, and he asked himself, ‘What am I doing?'” Ames recounted. “He was extremely remorseful.”

Ames said he knew that the woman would report him to police and he waited for them at his apartment.

“He wanted them to come in and shoot him,” Ames said.

He refused to open the door when officers arrived at his apartment, and they evacuated nearby apartments and surrounded the building while waiting for an arrest warrant.

Ames said Sherwood threw his cellphone out a window, then took some pills. “He overdosed, believing he’d be dead in the morning,” she said.

However, when police knocked on his door that morning, he woke up, opened it and collapsed, she said.

Sherwood was taken first to MaineGeneral Medical Center for an evaluation and then to the Kennebec County jail, where his probation officer charged him with violating probation in connection with the new criminal charges. He has been in jail since then.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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