- Associated Press - Monday, November 10, 2014

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - Massachusetts prosecutors on Monday urged a judge to keep a man suspected of raping women in several states locked up while he awaits trial.

Authorities say Gregory Lewis cut off his court-ordered electronic monitoring device and fled Massachusetts after being charged in the rape of a 13-year-old girl. He was captured in New York last month after what police called a cross-country crime spree.

During a court hearing Monday, prosecutor Courtney Sans asked a judge to find that Lewis, 26, of Southbridge, is a danger to the community and to continue to hold him without bail.

A Southbridge police officer testified Monday that he and state police continue to hear from other police departments around the country. Massachusetts state police have said Lewis is suspected of robbing and raping female escorts in Colorado, Indiana, Missouri, Oregon, North Carolina and Utah.

Lewis’ attorney, Michael Hussey, said he knows it’s unlikely Lewis will be released on bail. But Hussey objected to labeling Lewis as dangerous, saying doing so would deprive Lewis of his constitutional right to be presumed innocent.

Judge Janet Kenton-Walker did not immediately rule. She said she will issue her ruling within the next day or so.

Lewis pleaded not guilty last week to 17 charges stemming from the alleged rape of the 13-year-old girl and the alleged beating of his stepfather.

Massachusetts state police have said Lewis told several people that his goal was to return to Massachusetts to kill his 13-year-old accuser.

Another hearing was scheduled for Dec. 15.

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