MIDDLETOWN — Police arrested a West Haven man on Monday who is suspected of raping and physically assaulting a 15-year-old girl so severely that hospital staff was surprised she survived, police said.
Robert Andrews, 34, is charged with first-degree assault, first-degree aggravated sexual assault, first-degree strangulation, first-degree reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor.
Andrews initially denied touching the girl, but later said they had consensual sex.
Police were called to 409 Bow Lane, a residence the girl stumbled upon Sunday evening after waking up in a tree farm by Riverview Hospital.
Her face was red, swollen and covered in what appeared to be freckles. Officers observed blood around her mouth and teeth and a very prominent red mark around her neck that appeared as though she had been choked with a ligature, police said.
The freckles turned out to be petechiae, the marks of broken capillaries. Doctors said it was the worst case they had seen, police said.
The girl told police Andrews had assaulted her. She said she lives in a Department of Children and Families group home in Manchester, but wanted to be home in West Haven for her birthday. She said she called Andrews for a ride and he picked her up around 3 p.m. Sunday at a convenience store in Manchester.
He brought her to a tree farm by Riverview Hospital in Middletown where he put her in a headlock until she passed out, police said.
The girl said it had been light out when they had gotten to the farm, but it was dark when she woke up. Her pants were around her ankles and she couldn’t move.
She slowly regained mobility and made her way to Bow Lane where she banged on the door of the first house she saw.
When investigators spoke with Andrews, he admitted to meeting the girl at the store in Manchester but said he refused to bring her to West Haven because he would get in trouble with DCF.
He denied bringing her to Middletown and denied touching her. But police said they would review his cell phone tower history and asked if his DNA would turn up in a rape kit.
He eventually said the girl had sex with him willingly in the back seat of his car after showing her Riverview Hospital. An investigator asked about the marks of her neck and Andrews said she allowed him to choke her with his hands during sex.
When shown pictures of the girl’s injuries, Andrews said she didn’t look like that when he left her. He couldn’t explain her injuries and denied assault her, police said.
By Hilda Muñoz, Hartford Courant