William Bower of Northampton held on $20,000 bail for alleged attack on woman in Easthampton
NORTHAMPTON — William E. Bower denied charges Monday that he attacked a total stranger, broke her nose and tried to rape her after she tried to help him last month in Easthampton.
Bower, 30, of 18 Grove St., Northampton, pleaded not guilty in Hampshire Superior Court to charges of attempted murder by strangulation, assault with intent to rape, indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, assault and battery, threatening to commit rape and threatening to commit murder.
Judge Mary-Lou Rup set bail at $20,000 cash or $200,000 surety.
Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jennifer Suhl, prosecuting the case, said Bower’s record includes violent crime convictions, restraining order violations and missed court appearances. She said this demonstrates Bower is a flight risk, especially considering the seriousness of the charges he faces.
If he is released, Bower must stay away from the alleged victim and her residence, have no contact with her, not possess any firearms or dangerous weapons, and submit to around-the-clock GPS monitoring.
According to information filed by the DA’s office, the alleged victim encountered Bower, whom she didn’t know, on Knipfer Avenue in Easthampton about 9:30 p.m. Oct. 22. She tried to escort him back to the center of town for help because he appeared “disoriented.”
At some point while they spoke, Bower allegedly took the woman’s hat from her head and tried to put his arm around her, prompting her to tell him he was making her uncomfortable.
At that point, according to court records, Bower wrapped his arm around her neck, telling her he had a knife, and that she was “going to do what he wanted her to do.”
Bower temporarily overpowered the alleged victim, threatening to kill her, according to a statement from the DA’s office, and wrapped his hands around her throat. He then ordered her to remove her clothes and threatened to rape and kill her, prosecutors said.
Bower allegedly struck the woman in the face hard enough to break her nose, according to court records. Bower allegedly laughed and told police he was “proud” of that act and he wanted the alleged victim to die.
The victim fought back by yelling, struggling and eventually biting one of Bower’s fingers hard enough to draw blood.
According to police, the victim negotiated her release with Bower while still holding his finger between her teeth.
Bower agreed to leave in an opposite direction from the victim if she released her hold on his finger, and after Bower fled, she called police.
Bower was located by police a brief time later on Cottage Street and placed under arrest. He was indicted by a Hampshire County grand jury earlier this month.
He is due back in court on March 19 for a pre-trial hearing.