Middletown police have arrested a West Haven man accused of sexually assaulting and brutally choking a 15-year-old girl.
When medical staff evaluated the teen, they said they were shocked that she was still alive because of the severity of her injuries, according to the arraignment report.
The victim called police around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday to report the assault.
When police responded to interview her, they noticed a red mark around the victim’s neck and blood around her mouth and teeth. Her face was red, swollen and appeared to be freckled, but doctors later determined that those injuries were consistent with being choked.
She told police that Robert Andrews, 34, of West Haven, had sexually assaulted her and left her in the wooded area near the former Riverview Hospital.
The victim, who is in Department of Children and Families custody, told officers that she called Andrews because she wanted to be in West Haven for her birthday.
He had picked her up at a Manchester convenience store and drove her to the psychiatric hospital for children, where he had been when he was younger, the girl told police.
Then, they drove to a nearby tree farm and Andrews asked the girl for sex, according to police.
She said no, got out of the car and started to walk away, but he grabbed her, she told police.
The girl said Andrews held her in a headlock and restricted her breathing until she passed out.
When she came to, she was in the woods, with her pants around her ankles, according to police. When she was finally able to move, she managed to get down Silver Mine Road and to Bow Lane, where she banged on the door of the first house she saw, asked to be let in and called police.
Police picked Andrews up at his house and brought him to the police station for questioning.
He admitted to police that he had known the teen for a couple years and said that she had previously babysat for his son but had been neglectful.
Andrews told officers that the victim had been in touch with him over the last couple weeks. She had called him crying on Saturday night and it bothered him to hear her like that.
At first, Andrews denied bringing the girl to Middletown and insisted that she knew his history with Riverview because she knew “his story” of being in institutions, but the police said they would obtain cell phone tower information on his whereabouts and he admitted to bringing the girl to the area, police said.
Then, he denied hurting the girl.
When police told him the girl had medically examined, he admitted to choking the girl during sex, but claimed the sex was consensual and that she was fine when he left her.
Andrews was charged with first-degree assault, aggravated sexual assault, strangulation, risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment. He is being held on $500,000 bond and is due in court on Dec. 3.