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Woman gives vivid account of assault in dressing room

By Associated Press


WAILUKU » The victim of a sexual assault in a store's dressing room testified in court wearing sunglasses and a black scarf around her head because she was afraid of the defendant getting a better look at her.

During a preliminary hearing Wednesday for Charles Cowans, the 33-year-old woman testified that she thought she was going to die during the violent attack May 31 in a small dressing room of the store where she works, the Maui News reported. He lunged at her, dragged her into the room and blocked the entrance with a shelf, she said.

"I grabbed his head and tried to bite his ear but couldn't," she said. "I tried to wiggle out of his bear hug. He let go and said, ‘We're going to have sex.'"

He ripped her denim shorts. She tried to dive through a space between the floor and the bottom of a wall, she said. She was halfway out as he held her legs and sexually assaulted her and was "enraged" as he pulled her back into the dressing room.

He grabbed her by the hair to a standing position as she struggled and screamed. He began choking her so hard that she became faint, she said.

She said she managed to loosen his grip and struggled to get out through the small space.

"As soon as I stand up, I see a customer standing there in shock," she said. "I scream, ‘Help, he's trying to rape me.'"

Cowans ran out the door, she said, and the customer chased after him.

Wailuku District Judge Adri­anne Heely called her testimony credible and brave. Heely increased Cowans' bail to $1 million.

Prosecutors said Cowans had been released from the Maui Community Correctional Center after finishing a jail term the day before the assault. Police said he registered as a sex offender May 31.

He was sentenced to a year in jail after violating his probation in a 1991 case. Originally charged with attempted murder, he pleaded no contest to kidnapping and attempted assault for an attack on an ex-girlfriend.

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myviewofthings wrote:
he needs to be castrated ASAP
on June 7,2013 | 06:52AM
nitpikker wrote:
yup, islamic law...chop off the offending limb!!!
on June 7,2013 | 07:07AM
cojef wrote:
No kidding, even sex organs? Heard about some tribal customs where mothers or women disfigure the female sex organs at puberty.
on June 7,2013 | 03:56PM
allie wrote:
Weak Hawaii courts will put him back on the streets soon..it is what the courts do out here
on June 7,2013 | 08:10AM
50skane wrote:
This guy should be used for landfill somewhere..He has no rehabilitative value. His brains are obviously shot to hell!
on June 7,2013 | 07:08AM
chief wrote:
Agree with all three above, this guy is garbage!
on June 7,2013 | 07:19AM
soundofreason wrote:
"Wailuku District Judge Adri­anne Heely called her testimony credible and brave. Heely increased Cowans' bail to $1 million.">>> Hey, Judge Heely, way to show Judge Perkins how it's SUPPOSED to be done.
on June 7,2013 | 07:24AM
Shawn211 wrote:
Big deal they raise his bail to 1 million. The guys has no job, you really think we're going to collect that money???? They should cut his b@lls-off, cut his arms-off at the elbows, cut his legs off at the knee's and cut his tougue-off. That would make him the animal he is !!!
on June 7,2013 | 08:03AM
Who_Said wrote:
Throw away the key!
on June 7,2013 | 12:57PM
juscasting wrote:
Don't worry, rappist don't live long in prison general population! He's already somebody's trophy!
on June 7,2013 | 01:40PM
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