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Westminster man charged after allegedly raping woman

A Westminster man faces charges after he raped a woman in a tent, according to police.

Bliss G. Hooper, 61, was charged Aug. 25 with second-degree rape and third- and fourth-degree sex offense, online court records show. He was arrested Friday and was released on his own recognizance Monday.

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A woman came to Westminster police Aug. 12 to report an assault that occurred in the homeless encampment in the area of 200 Baltimore Blvd. on Aug. 10 at about 7 p.m., according to charging documents. The woman said she was lying down in a tent after consuming alcohol when Hooper came in and took her to his tent, then raped her with his hand, charging documents state. The woman told Hooper to stop, then two people came by, noticed what was happening and took her from Hooper’s tent, charging documents read.

The woman suffered bruising and soreness to her groin area, police wrote.

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Police visited the campsite Aug. 13, when they spoke to a witness who said he pulled Hooper off the woman and struck Hooper in the face after he didn’t listen when being told to stop, according to charging documents. The witness said he saw blood on the woman’s backside when he brought her to another tent to sleep and watch over her, charging documents state.

On Aug. 18 police spoke to another witness at the campsite who said he was aware of the incident, charging documents read. Police attempted to locate a third witness who also had watched over the woman while she slept, a witness told police, but they could not find that third witness.

There was no phone number listed for Hooper in charging documents. Online court records show Hooper is to be represented by a public defender, but no specific attorney was listed Wednesday afternoon.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 29.

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