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Union Bridge man charged with sex offense for allegedly touching sleeping woman

A Union Bridge man faces charges after he allegedly touched a woman’s groin while she slept.

Joseph D. Woodyard, 52, was charged with fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault, online court records show. A charge of third-degree sex offense was dropped. He was arrested Tuesday and was released Thursday on a $20,000 bond after initially being held without bond.

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Carroll County Sheriff’s Office responded to a Westminster residence Aug. 19 at about 10 p.m. for a report of sexual assault, according to charging documents. The woman said she and her mother were visiting her mother’s friend when the woman lied down on the couch to sleep, charging documents state. At the time, Woodyard was staying with a relative at the residence, police wrote.

While the mother and her friend were upstairs, Woodyard put the sleeping woman’s legs on top of his lap, touched her groin area over her clothes, lifted up her shorts and underwear and moved his hand up her inner thigh, charging documents read.

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The woman said she didn’t react to her legs being moved because she thought her mother was moving her, then she felt Woodyard’s hand moving up her leg and jumped up, police wrote. The woman went upstairs to tell her mother and when they came back downstairs, Woodyard was gone, according to charging documents.

Police tried to schedule two interviews with Woodyard, but he never showed, charging documents state. An arrest warrant was issued Sept. 12.

The phone number listed for Woodyard in court documents had caller restrictions. There was no attorney listed for him Friday. He has a bench trial scheduled for Dec. 16.

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