Palmer sexual assault victim ‘thought she was going to die’

Crime

PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News has new information about the reported sexual assault in Palmer Wednesday, in which a 25-year-old man is accused of holding a 38-year-old victim against her will as he beat and sexually assaulted her.

LeeMichael Collins, of Palmer, has been charged with assault to murder, assault to rape, kidnapping, and strangulation or suffocation in connection with the reported assault. He was denied bail during his arraignment in Palmer District Court Wednesday afternoon pending the result of a dangerousness hearing on September 25.

According to the police report obtained by 22News, the victim told police a friend gave her a ride from Connecticut to Flynt Street in Palmer at approximately 3:00 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a text to perform sex for a fee.

When the victim asked Collins for the fee, he allegedly began to beat her. “She stated that she thought she was going to die,” the trooper noted in the report.

The victim alleged that she was tied up and strangled unconscious inside a camping trailer, and had bruising and injuries consistent with her statement, according to the report obtained by 22News.

When troopers went to Flynt Street to investigate, they found a camper parked in the side yard of a home that matched the victim’s description. The troopers also noted in the report that they found “disturbed dirt near the trailer and a female-type denim shirt that appeared to have been recently left outside of the trailer.”

Troopers determined a man matching the description of the suspect, later identified as Collins, lived at the home where the camper was parked. After numerous attempts to make contact with someone inside the home, troopers called the suspect’s relative and asked him to return to the house.

“[Redacted] asked what was going on and I advised him that we were investigating a serious incident,” the trooper wrote in the report. “[Redacted] stated that at approximately 5:15 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. a car with Connecticut license plates was in his driveway looking for a female, he found this unusual.”

Collins later agreed to go to the Palmer Police Department for an interview. The trooper noted that he had scratches on his arms, lower back, shoulders, and legs, as well as a bruise on his chest and a wrist injury. 

According to police report obtained by 22News, Collins reported going to a local bar Tuesday night before returning home at approximately 1:00 a.m. and going to bed.

“When asked if there would be any reason his DNA or other evidence would be on a female victim he stated that there would not be any reason for that,” the report said.

Collins was arrested after further investigation. Police are continuing to look into what led up to the incident.

Related: Palmer sexual assault suspect denied bail

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