- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

LUCEDALE, Miss. (AP) - Police are searching for a man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a southeastern Mississippi convenience store clerk.

The Lucedale Police Department tells local media that Stephen Eugene Howell has been identified by the woman as her attacker.

Police say the woman told them Howell hit her on the head Saturday with a weapon and then tied her hands behind her back and put duct tape over her mouth. She said she was forced into his car and taken to a motel, where she was repeatedly sexually assaulted. She told police she escaped when Howell fell asleep.

Howell is being sought for kidnapping and sexual battery. He faced similar charges in July 2011. Details in that case were not immediately available.

Authorities say the victim is recovering in a hospital.

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