NEWBURYPORT — A Topsfield Fair sausage vendor pleaded not guilty yesterday to a single rape charge after allegedly sexually assaulting a 30-year-old woman Monday night just as this year’s 11-day fair was coming to an end.
Paul Richard Carson, 44, of 3 McDuffee St., Rochester, N.H., is being held on $25,000 cash bail following his arraignment yesterday before Judge Peter Doyle in Ipswich District Court located in Newburyport. Essex County District Attorney prosecutor Annaliese Wolfe originally asked that bail be set at $50,000 due to the serious nature of the crime.
Carson is expected back in the State Street courthouse on Nov. 8 for a probable cause hearing, according to Essex County District Attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball Monahan.
According to the report of Topsfield police officer Joseph DeBernardo, the victim was walking down a dark alley close to a row of bathrooms by the Ferris wheel around 10:30 p.m. when the suspect grabbed her and slammed her head against the exterior of the bathroom.
The suspect, who according to the victim smelled of alcohol, then forcefully covered her mouth with his hand and threatened to kill her if she screamed. He then proceeded to pull down her pants and sexually assault her as she struggled. The victim then told police Carson announced he was going to rape her and that she was going to like it. He then dropped his pants to his ankles and attempted to rape her, covering her mouth once again.
The victim continued struggling until the suspect uncovered her mouth and pulled up his pants. Carson then leaned closer to the victim and announced he would kill her if she talked to police about the attack. It appears the sight of several young children and their parents may have frightened the suspect as well, according to the report.
Soon after the alleged attack, the victim ran into the bathroom and locked herself in a stall. When another woman in the restroom checked on the victim to see if she was all right, the victim told her of the attack. It was that woman who notified police, beginning a search of the area for the man fitting the description offered by the victim.