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By Brian Fraga
Standard-Times staff writer
October 09, 2008 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD - Police are working to identify a white man in his late 20s or early 30s who reportedly slammed a woman to the ground and raped her late Sunday.
"We don't have a lot of information to work with at this point, but I'm confident in our sex crime detectives' investigative skills to work this case," New Bedford police spokesman Lt. Jeffrey P. Silva said.
Meanwhile, additional details were released Wednesday on the violent attack that occurred while the woman was walking to work around 10:45 p.m. in the near North End.
According to police reports, the woman was punched and thrown to the ground, her head smashing against the pavement.
She was raped multiple times and told she would be killed if she resisted.
"All forms of sexual assault are repugnant, but this crime in particular has the unsavory ingredient of a viciousness only capable of being committed by the most depraved members of society," Lt. Silva said.
The victim told police she was walking near the intersection of Coggeshall and North Front streets when she noticed a man she did not know walking a few steps behind her.
The woman said she stopped outside Papa John's Pizza on Coggeshall Street and opened her cell phone, hoping the man would walk past.
Instead, he approached and asked whether she was a prostitute; she said she was not.
The suspect reportedly told the woman he was going to rape her anyway.
He punched her in the mouth and threw her to the ground, police said.
He threatened to snap her neck, said he had a knife and gun, and threatened to kill her if she resisted.
Lt. Silva said the man then walked the victim around the corner into a darkened driveway on North Front Street.
The assailant ordered the victim to remove her clothes and he sexually assaulted her.
A witness on the second floor of the house saw the assailant and victim in the driveway, but thought they were a couple. The witness threw a bucket of cold water on them from the second-floor window, police reported.
Lt. Silva said the assailant then walked the victim around another corner and sexually assaulted her again.
The assailant told the victim to take him to her residence and ordered her to put her arm around him to make it look like they were a couple.
At the victim's residence, the assailant tried to rape her again. However, she resisted, kicking and screaming. The victim called 911 after the suspect left, police reported.
Police treated the victim at the residence and transported her to St. Luke's Hospital, where she received further medical treatment, Lt. Silva said.
She described her attacker as a white man with a "baby face." She told police the man told her he had recently been released from jail in Dartmouth.
The assailant was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, gray shorts and white sneakers.
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