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Accused rapist is held without bail (ma)


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METHUEN — A tow-truck driver accused of raping an intoxicated woman after she crashed her car in Methuen Christmas morning was ordered held without bail following his arraignment in Lawrence District Court Tuesday.

Christian Baez, 32, of Marlborough, was charged Tuesday with one count of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated rape, one count of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 and one count of assault and battery. 

According to court documents, the victim told police she had been at a friend's house in Lawrence drinking on Christmas Eve. She left the party shortly before 3 a.m. and was driving home when she crashed her car into a snowbank on Lawrence Street.

The victim told police that after the crash, she recalled being pulled from her car, the court documents said. She then told police she heard two men speaking in Spanish, and one told the other he was going to call police. She said that man, later identified as Baez, put her into a tow truck while the other man left the scene, the documents said.

The victim told police Baez continually asked if she was OK, but that she could not open her eyes. She then said he slapped her face, telling her to wake up, according to the police report.

Baez then placed his fingers in her mouth, causing her to vomit, the victim said according to the report. He then began to assault her, the report said.

The victim told police she kept losing consciousness during the assault, but that she recalled Baez closing the passenger side door of the truck and re-entering the truck on the driver's side, wearing a black ski mask, court documents said.

"She immediately asked where her underwear was and 'I know what you did.' 'I felt what you did to me.' She demanded that he bring her back to her car," the police report said. 

Baez told the victim she had injured another driver in the crash and that she would be arrested, but the victim said she knew that was not true, according to the documents.

While police officers were investigating the victim's abandoned vehicle on Lawrence Street, Baez arrived with the victim, according to the report. The victim was "extremely upset, crying and screaming" and told police she had just been assaulted and was missing her underwear.

"She stated that she did not voluntarily get into the truck and she would have been better off being left in her vehicle to die than to get into the truck with the male subject," the police report said.

While being interviewed by police, Baez said he was driving a Sheehan's Towing truck when he happened upon the accident, where another man was helping the victim. Baez said he attempted to take the victim to the hospital, but she regained consciousness during the drive and began screaming at him to return her to the car, so he turned around, court documents said.

Police wrote in the report that they spoke with a dispatcher at Sheehan's Towing, who said Baez had just turned in paperwork from a tow in Lawrence and left the tow shop at about 2:30 a.m., saying he was going home. The dispatcher said Baez did not call in anything about a crash or picking up the victim.

After questioning by the police, Baez eventually said that he had "stopped by" the Timony Grammar School on his way to Holy Family Hospital with the victim, according to the report. He said he was trying to push the victim into his truck when he "ended up" assaulting her. He later admitted to police that he had assaulted the victim, and said the other man who had been at the scene of the crash had removed her underwear, according to the court documents.

Baez was arrested and booked about 6 a.m. Christmas Day. The tow truck was impounded and searched, where police found "a number of pairs" of black gloves and a pair of underwear "in the left toolbox of the truck hidden behind three bottles of speedy dry," according to the police report.

Baez is scheduled to return to court for a dangerousness hearing Jan. 5.

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