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William Bower of Northampton arrested on charge of assault with intent to rape in Easthampton

William E. Bower of 18 Grove St. was arrested on Cottage Street shortly after 10 p.m. on charges of assault to rape, indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, assault and battery and threatening to commit a crime.

According to Bower’s defense attorney, Jonah Goldsmith of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, Bower will undergo a mental health evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital to determine if he is competent to be arraigned.

Police Chief Bruce McMahon said Bower had been wandering around the neighborhood when the woman approached him to ask if he needed help. She told police that he grabbed her by the throat, threw her to the ground and made comments that were threatening and “sexual in nature” before fleeing the scene.

The woman called 911 and described Bower, who McMahon said is known to police. They found him on Cottage Street.

“There was substantial injury to her face, some bruising and the possibility that her nose was broken,” McMahon said. She said she would go to the hospital, but declined to be taken there by ambulance, he said. Medical personnel treated her at the scene.

McMahon said police have no reason to believe Bower was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the alleged attack took place.

“It’s a very serious offense and it is still under investigation,” McMahon said Tuesday.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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