WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - Rape charges have been filed against a Quechee man accused of luring a woman back to his apartment in October where he allegedly offered her cocaine and then violently sexually assaulted her.
Herman Young Jr., 35, pleaded innocent this past week to three felony sexual assault related charges, including aggravated kidnapping and threatening injury, each of which expose him to potential penalties, if he were to be convicted, ranging from a minimum of 10 years in prison to a maximum of up to life.
Young, who has previous convictions for selling cocaine and possessing marijuana, was ordered held for lack of $50,000 bail.
The investigation began back on October 24th after the putative victim, a 35-year-old New Hampshire woman, turned up at a bar in Lebanon in a disoriented state with a black eye and a paper napkin upon which she had written a license plate number. The woman explained that she had just been attacked and raped by an acquaintance she barely knew, according to an affidavit filed with the court.
Lebanon police took the woman to the hospital where nurses collected samples of potential DNA evidence and treated her for cigarette burns and, because the assault allegedly took place in an apartment on Cross Street in Quechee, detectives from Hartford also travelled over to the hospital to conduct an interview with her.
The woman told police that she did not know the name of her alleged assailant but she said friends of hers did know him and she was able to give police a detailed description of Young, including that he had tattoos which read “Gentleman” and “Gangsta” down each side of his torso.
The woman also described Young’s apartment in detail, saying she had been lured there after he offered to give her a ride from a friend’s house in southern New Hampshire to Lebanon.
The woman told detectives that Young had allegedly made his initial stop by her friend’s house to sell cocaine and said that after he invited her inside his Quechee apartment, “she did a couple of lines of coke and consumed a couple beers” with him, according to the affidavit.
During the alleged assault, the woman said Young hit her in the face with an open hand and threatened her, took her cellphone away from her and showed her that he had a handgun.
“I started to beg to go home and he lit a cigarette and started burning my face, shoulder and hand. He said it would get worse if I talked and finally (he) brought me to Lebanon,” the woman was quoted as saying in the police report, which also said that, following the assault, the woman “described an overwhelming feeling of just wanting to die.”
Police said that, after the woman picked Young’s image out of photo lineup they showed her, detectives made contact with Young and asked him about the allegations.
Young denied having attacked anyone and told police that he had several women over to his apartment in October and said he did not recall any of the details about the ride the woman described from New Hampshire to Vermont and back as matching anyone he knew, according to the detective’s affidavit.
Police executed a search warrant on Young’s apartment, which they described as “strewn with cocaine paraphernalia,” and said the woman’s descriptions of it matched much of what they found inside; however, they said they did not find the handgun that she claimed to have seen.
Vermont News can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org