Crime

DA: Merrimac man arrested following home invasion and sexual assault of elderly woman

“While the suspect is in custody, this remains an active investigation."

A Merrimac man was arrested on Monday night in connection with a recent home invasion and the sexual assault of an elderly woman, according to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett and Merrimac Police Chief Eric Shears.

Police arrested 50-year-old William S. Raia at his home on Monday. His charges including four counts of aggravated rape, kidnapping, home invasion, strangulation and assault & battery causing Bodily Injury on an elderly person, according to officials.

Merrimac police responded to a call on at 11:10 p.m. on July 3 regarding a distressed woman on Hillside Avenue. The 74-year-old woman told police she was awoken in her bed by a man with a knife.

The man allegedly threatened her with the knife and then assaulted her multiple times. The District Attorney’s Office reported she eventually managed to get away and called police from a neighboring house.

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She was treated at Lawrence General Hospital and has since been released, officials said.

Raia is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Newburyport District Court, officials said.

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