A Rutland man is facing the possibility of at least six years in jail after police accused him of sexually assaulting a woman in Castleton on July 27, 2019.
Jacob Lorman, 19, of Rutland, pleaded not guilty on Monday in Rutland criminal court to two felony counts of sexual assault.
If convicted, Lorman, who was 18 at the time of the alleged incident, would face a mandatory minimum penalty of three years on each and a maximum term of life in prison.
Lorman was released without bail but ordered not to contact the woman who accused him of sexual assault.
The charges are based on an affidavit written by Detective Sgt. Jesse Robson, of the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation from Troop B-East in Westminster, who said he became involved in the case on July 28, 2019, after the case was referred to the State Police by the Castleton Police Department.
Robson said he interviewed a 20-year-old Rutland woman on July 29, 2019, at her home. She said the alleged assault took place July 27, 2019, after she went to a party in Castleton with friends.
The woman, who is now 21, said she had been drinking at the party and eventually, she, Lorman and two other people, a man whose age wasn’t given and a 17-year-old girl, left the party and went to a nearby field. She said she brought the 17-year-old girl because Lorman and the other man had said they were going to make a sex tape even though she said she took that as a joke.
The woman said she and Lorman separated from the other two and she said he took her hand and forced her to touch him. She said he forced her to perform oral sex even though she told him she didn’t want to do it.
According to the woman, Lorman was so aggressive, she began to vomit. She estimated he continued for about 20 minutes although she was crying and telling him she didn’t want to continue.
Robson said the woman told investigators that Lorman insisted she get on top of him. She said after a brief time he let her remove herself “cause I was crying so much.”
The woman said she was on her back on the ground trying to get her clothes back on when Lorman got on top of her and eventually forced her into oral sex again. She said she was vomiting again.
The woman said she managed to send a text message to a friend who found her later. She said she left and didn’t know what happened to Lorman.
Both of the woman’s parents told police she told them what happened on the same night as the alleged assault. They said they took her to Rutland Regional Medical Center to get a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination.
The woman’s friend said she had gotten texts from the woman that night asking for help. She said when she talked to the woman, the woman said, “I didn’t know. I didn’t know what to do.” The friend said the woman couldn’t breathe because she was crying so hard.
In early August 2019, police recorded two conversations between the woman and Lorman. The affidavit said Lorman apologized repeatedly but said he didn’t remember what happened that night.
The 17-year-old who was with the woman, Lorman and the second man told police on Aug. 20 that the woman had been “all over Lorman” and was “being flirtatious.”
Robson said in the affidavit that he had approached Lorman’s attorney Heather Ross, about interviewing Lorman on Oct. 22, 2019, but the interview wasn’t arranged until 10 months later, and more than a year after the alleged incident, on Aug. 20.
Lorman said he didn’t remember the incident but said “he thought he was taken advantage of.”
“Jacob wished to clarify that the apologies he gave to (the woman) while being recorded by police were his way of sympathizing but not accepting that he hurt her,” Robson said in the affidavit.
A call to attorney Heather Ross, who represents Lorman, was not immediately returned on Wednesday.
A news release from the Vermont State Police about the Lorman case was sent around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, although Lorman was arraigned Monday. Releases are usually sent earlier, allowing the media to be present for an arraignment.
By email, Adam Silverman, the public information officer for the VSP, said the delay was because of a miscommunication between the State Police and the Attorney General’s Office. The Vermont Attorney General is prosecuting the case because the Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office recused itself.
“For that same reason, the Vermont State Police investigation was assigned to a detective from outside the greater Rutland area, to ensure the investigation’s impartiality and ability to proceed without favoritism to any party. VSP policy is to send news releases prior to arraignment, and we have addressed this issue,” Silverman stated in the email.