Police: Clerk sexually assaulted during business hours at Longview store
Feb. 22, 2013 at 10 p.m.
A Gilmer man was held in the Gregg County Jail on $300,000 bond Friday night, accused of sexually assaulting a South Longview store clerk during business hours.
According to a criminal complaint filed for his arrest, Shawn Michael Willard, 28, entered the Chanel Stop and Shop in the 500 block of Mobberly Avenue just after the store opened at 7 a.m. this past Saturday.
The victim, an employee of the store, told police "the subject made her uneasy and ... she told her manager about the person. ... The manager came to the store and, when she did, the subject left."
The man came back once the manager left, according to the complaint. Police said Willard forced the woman into a back room and sexually assaulted her.
According to the complaint, Willard threatened to cut the woman if she fought back during the assault, choking her and pressing down on her throat with his foot.
The sexual assault was interrupted when customers came into the store, the victim told police.
"During the assault, she heard the bells on the front door of the store and started screaming," the complaint said. "She said that the subject got up and left the room."
Longview police who arrived on the scene said the woman was crying and her shirt was torn at the neck; her shoulder and back were covered in dirt, and she had what appeared to be a fresh cut over her right eye.
Both customers who entered the store told police they heard a woman screaming and crying. They said they saw a man leaving the store, pulling up his pants.
Police found Willard at a barber college in the 2400 block of S. High Street after they responded to a call of a "mental subject."
Employees at the shop said Willard was acting delusional.
After waiting, police said they saw Willard walk to a blue Dodge Caravan that had a temporary tag, the same vehicle the customers who interrupted the assault described.
Willard was arrested by Longview police on Monday and charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and two counts of aggravated sexual assault.