WATERVILLE — The sister of a man accused of assaulting a woman in her home on Sunday said she is standing in support of the woman who police say is the victim, her neighbor of several years.

“I just want (the victim’s) family and her to know we are willing to do what we can to take it away, to make it better,” Sarah Halle said.

Mark Halle, 32, is accused of breaking into the home of a 73-year old neighborhood resident early Sunday morning on a street off West River Road and threatening her with a firearm before sexually assaulting and beating her.

Halle was arrested at his sister’s Victoria Drive home, and Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey said he later admitted to the attack. Police say they found the gun believed to have been used in the attack, which turned out to be a pellet gun, and have DNA and other evidence linking Halle to the crime.

Sarah Halle said that if her brother did what he’s charged with, “I never pictured him doing something like that, ever.”

In a telephone interview after the arrest, she said her brother had moved to Waterville from Florida about six months ago and had been living with her and her children. He had moved around a lot, and she and her ex-husband paid for his bus ticket to Maine, Halle said.

As far as she knows, her brother never had had a serious run-in with the law.

“He got arrested once in Florida for stealing beer. That was the extent of his criminal record,” she said.

She said she is shocked at the allegations. Halle has known the woman her brother is accused of attacking for years and said that it was her son’s BB gun that he is alleged to have used in the attack.

“I just don’t want people to think I am supporting him, because I am not,” she said.

Neighbors in the area have been supportive of her and her children but have a lot to say about her brother, Halle said.

“I completely understand, because I have a lot of things I want to say to him,” she said.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

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