The man charged with assaulting and raping a 73-year-old woman at gunpoint in her home is scheduled to appear in court next week for a bail hearing.

Mark Halle, 32, is set to have the Harnish bail hearing at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta. The hearing, requested by his attorney, Pamela Ames, is to determine whether someone should be held without bail over serious crimes.

Halle, who is charged with felony counts of gross sexual assault, burglary and aggravated assault, and also assault and criminal threatening, is being held at the Kennebec County jail in Augusta in lieu of $225,000 cash bail.

Waterville police said Halle’s attack on the woman was apparently random. Police Chief Joseph Massey said the assault shows there are “monsters living amongst us.”

Massey also said the attack makes a good case for people arming themselves, though he added that he didn’t know whether the victim could have used a gun or whether the attack could have been prevented.

Sarah Halle, Mark’s sister, said in an interview that she supports the woman her brother allegedly assaulted, who is her neighbor of several years. She said that if her brother did what he’s charged with, “I never pictured him doing something like that, ever.”

She said her brother 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.

The victim told police she was awakened by a loud bang shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday and was confronted by a man dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and armed with what appeared to be a handgun. The man forced her back into the bedroom and put a pillow case over her head before sexually assaulting her, then severely beat her.

After the attack, the man demanded the woman take a shower and threatened to kill her if she called the police.

Police on Sunday morning said they tracked footprints in the snow to a set of keys and then to a pellet gun they believe was used in the attack behind a small shed on a nearby property.

Investigators said they followed the trail to Halle’s sister’s house on Victoria Drive.

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