Details of two alleged stranger rapes unsealed in New London

New London -- The vast majority of sexual assault victims know their attackers, but two New London women say they had never met the man who broke into their apartments in the fall of 2017 and raped them at gunpoint in their bedrooms.

Monte P. White of New London, arrested last month after police said DNA and fingerprints linked him to both crimes, made his first appearance Tuesday in the court where major crimes are tried. White also has been linked via DNA to a third sexual assault in Torrington in April, though he has not yet been charged in that case. He is being held in lieu of  $950,500 at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution.

White appeared Tuesday before Judge Hillary B. Strackbein with his court-appointed attorney, Matthew G. Berger. The case will be prosecuted by Senior Assistant State's Attorney Theresa Anne Ferryman.  Berger said he has not yet received the DNA reports and would like to review them before White's next court appearance.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit written by New London police detective Joshua Bergeson, a 33-year-old woman reported she was sleeping in her Hawthorne Drive apartment on Oct. 29, 2017, when she was awakened about 7 a.m. by a man in her bed. She said she was terrified as the man pressed what she believed to be a gun into the back of her head, threatened to shoot her and sexually assaulted her. The woman told police her apartment door and a sliding glass door may not have been locked.

The woman said she remained frozen in her bedroom for about two minutes after her attacker left, then woke her roommate, who was sleeping in another room. The woman and her roommate drove to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, where she underwent a sexual assault examination.

The second attack occurred on Nov. 29, 2017, at an apartment on Nautilus Drive, according to police. A 24-year-old woman said she was home with her 1-year-old son when she was awakened about 5 a.m. by a man standing in her bedroom. She said he climbed into her bed, held a gun against the back of her head and sexually assaulted her twice. She said her attacker told her he had "seen her around" and asked about her boyfriend. She said he told her both of his parents had died that year, his sister was a "crack head" and his "girl" had a miscarriage.

After leaving out the back slider door, the woman said the suspect came to her bedroom window, opened the glass window and told her he was leaving. The police later recovered latent fingerprints from the glass surface of the slider that were positively identified as White's by the state crime lab.

Working with Waterford police and the Statewide Narcotics Task Force during the month of November, the police built a case against White for selling crack cocaine three times to a confidential informant who knew him as "Lucky," according to the affidavit. Police said White drove a 2001 Mercedes CLK 430 that was dark red for a long time but recently had been wrapped to appear black.

The police arrested White on the drug charges on Dec. 1 and in the following days received notification of a DNA "hit" linking White's DNA to both of the New London attacks and the Torrington crime. Confronted by detectives on Dec. 5 at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution, White claimed he and a friend named "SB" had gone to the Hawthorne Drive apartment to collect a $40 debt from a man's girlfriend but never entered the apartment.

He changed his story after police said there was physical evidence that placed him inside the crime scene and said the alleged victim advertised online that he had paid her several times for sex. Police said they were unable to locate any record of an internet site linked to the victim.  

White, whose previous address was on Jefferson Avenue in New London, was staying in Niantic at the time of his Dec. 1 arrest, according to the affidavit. A female who lived in the Niantic home said that while cleaning up the room where White was staying, a BB gun fell from a blanket she picked up. The police seized the gun, a black Crossman Phantom BB gun.

k.florin@theday.com

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