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Martinsburg area man charged with second-degree sexual assault of female neighbor

November 25, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A 52-year-old Martinsburg area man arraigned Friday is accused of sexually assaulting a female neighbor while she slept last month, according to Berkelely County Magistrate Court documents.

Joseph Lee Stephens Sr., of 137 Energy Drive, Martinsburg was charged with second-degree sexual assault by Berkeley County Sheriff's Lt. B.F. Hall,  court records said.

In the arraignment hearing, Magistrate Joan V. Bragg set a $20,000 bond for Stephens, who also was wanted by authorities for failure to appear in Berkeley County Circuit Court on an unrelated felony case.  

Stephens, who was incarcerated in Eastern Regional Jail Friday, was indicted last month on one count of domestic battery third offense. That case was assigned to 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III, who issued a writ for the defendant's arrest, records said.  

The victim in the alleged sexual assault told police on Oct. 27 that she had been raped by Stephens, after she and three roommates had been "hanging out" with him a few hours earlier at their house, according to a complaint filed in magistrate court by Hall.

The victim said she went to bed about 11 p.m. and awoke at about 1 a.m. to find Stephens having sexual intercourse with her, the documents said.

The victim said "she started screaming and hitting him when she realized what was happening, which caused him to stop the assault and leave the residence," according to Hall's complaint.

An examination at City Hospital in Martinsburg later found trauma that was consistent with sexual assault, the documents said.

One of the victim's roommates told police that Stephens was drinking alcohol in the living room of their house when two of the roommates left to go to a convenience store. The roommate told police they were gone for about 20 minutes, records said.

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