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TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A Taunton man suspected of abducting and attempting to rape a woman over the weekend appeared in court Monday on several charges.
A plea of not guilty was entered on behalf of 21-year-old William Perez, who was hidden from view at the request of his lawyer for what were said to be identification issues.
The incident happened Saturday afternoon at Mayflower Hill Cemetery. According to police, the 44-year-old victim was about to go for a jog around the perimeter when she was approached by a man near the entrance. He was wearing a backpack with hedge clippers sticking out, police said, and allegedly had a box cutter in hand and told the woman, “You’re coming with me.”
After dragging the woman to a nearby shed, the suspect punched her in the face and tried to sexually assault her, saying he would drag her deeper into the woods, according to police. He then ran off after bystanders showed up.
The victim was treated at an area hospital and released.
Police said they found surveillance video showing the suspect fleeing the area and were able to identify him based on the description.
Perez was arrested at his home on Sunday and charged with indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to commit rape, and kidnapping.
He was ordered held without bail following his arraignment. He’s due back in court May 8.
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