- Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A Maine man is going to prison for 27 years for an attack on a 73-year-old woman that the judge described as “sexual torture.”

The victim told 33-year-old Mark Halle on Monday that she forgave him, and Halle asked the judge for “a little bit of mercy.”

Halle pleaded guilty to gross sexual assault, burglary and criminal threatening. He was accused of beating and raping the woman early on Feb. 7, 2016, after he gained access to her home by removing an air conditioner from a living room window. The victim recognized him because she’d paid him to shovel off her deck.

A previous plea agreement fell through when another judge suggested a 20-year cap wasn’t enough. On Monday, Halle pleaded guilty with no stipulation related to the sentence.

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