A Ferndale man, paroled from prison last year after serving time for an assault conviction, has been denied bond after being charged with sexually assaulting a 76-year-old woman in his neighborhood.
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge James W. Dryden yesterday denied bond for William Anthony Burgess, 31, of the 100 block of Linden Ave.
Burgess is charged with breaking into the woman's house three times and robbing and sexually assaulting her twice.
Burgess appeared for his bond hearing via closed-circuit television from the county detention center, where he is being held.
Exhibiting a bruised forehead, which police said was the result of a fall he took while trying to elude them, Burgess raised his head only to answer "Yes, sir" or "No, sir" to questions asked by Dryden.
Burgess was arrested after the woman called police shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday to report that someone with a pitchfork was trying to break into her home. They found Burgess hiding behind a bush.
Investigators said they learned that a man the woman recognized broke into her home Nov. 24, dragged her to an upstairs room and fondled her.
The attacker beat the woman and stole $30 from her, police said. The victim had to receive hospital treatment for a broken spine, bruises and bite marks. On Nov. 28, the intruder returned to the woman's home and again sexually assaulted her and stole $80, police said.
Officer V. Richard Molloy, a county police spokesman, said the woman told hospital officials only that she had fallen down a flight of stairs. Molloy said the woman's daughter, suspicious of her mother's story, persuaded her to go to police. She did so but did not mention any sexual assault.
"It was only after we had arrested [Burgess] she felt safe enough to tell us the whole story," Molloy said.
Burgess was sentenced in 1986 to seven years for attempting to rape one woman and breaking into the home of another.
The crimes occurred within an hour of each other and a block apart in Ferndale.
In one of those incidents, he attempted to rape a 32-year-old woman, but she was able to dissuade him from doing so, according to a statement of charges read in court. He removed his ski mask, told the woman he loved her and asked to take her to dinner, according to the statement. The woman persuaded him to leave and he did so, but not before he apologized and left $10 to pay for a window he pried open to enter the house.