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Groton man charged with three counts of sexual assault

By Deborah Straszheim

Publication: theday.com

Published July 05. 2013 7:00PM   Updated July 05. 2013 8:33PM

Groton - A local man was charged Wednesday with three counts of sexual assault, then ordered held Friday on a $300,000 bond.

Mark A. Crouch, 54, of 282 Meridian St., No. 10, was arrested by town police on a warrant and charged with one count of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault. His case was transferred Friday to New London’s Part A Court for serious felonies. His next court date is July 24. He has not entered a plea.

According to an arrest warrant application filed in New London Superior Court, the victim was an 18-year-old girl who confided in a teacher that she repeatedly had been sexually assaulted. The teacher then told the school resource officer, who reported it to police.

“The victim provided detailed accounts of the sexual assaults, including the locations and the fact that the accused had her wear a sleep mask during the assaults,” the arrest warrant application said. “The victim was reluctant to make a complaint and left the interview crying.”

The warrant application said police spoke to Crouch on May 30, and that he denied wrongdoing, said he needed to talk to the victim, and could only be totally honest once he spoke with her.

“He admitted to taking the victim to hotels on more than one occasion but (said) that they only ate snacks and watched television,” the warrant application said.

Police searched Crouch’s home on May 30 and seized items including a black sleep mask, the warrant application said. On May 31, another detective retrieved cell phone text messages between the victim and Crouch, and found numerous anatomical images.

In a sworn statement, the victim said her first memory of inappropriate conduct with Crouch was when she was 13 or 14 years old, at the Knights Inn Motel in Groton, the warrant application said.

The victim said he sexually assaulted her more than once, starting in late June or early July 2012, and that on April 27, he rented a room at the Sleep Inn in Niantic, and assaulted her there, the warrant application said.

The victim said another assault occurred at the Motel 6 in Niantic, the warrant application said.

Police obtained video surveillance of Crouch checking in at the motel front desk and a receipt showing he used a Visa card to pay for a room, the arrest warrant application said.

d.straszheim@theday.com

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