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Police: man raped girl, committed suicide

12-19-2014 Maine:

BENTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Waterville man who killed himself in the Benton Elementary parking lot Wednesday had kidnapped and raped a teenage girl the day before, said police.

The Morning Sentinel reports that Anthony Harding, 41, had planned the kidnapping and the rape. Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said that Harding took the girl to a storage unit with a hidden makeshift room with enough food to last three or four days, along with some furniture.

Police confirmed that Harding and the girl knew each other prior to the abduction. Harding allegedly told the girl after taking her that he had been contemplating suicide for some time. Police said he told the girl he didn't think he had the courage to do it, but if he committed a heinous crime, he would be able to kill himself.

Police said they received a call Wednesday afternoon from a woman who said she was taking a girl to the emergency room because the girl told her she had been raped. Police went to the hospital and talked to the girl who identified Harding as her abductor and rapist. She said Harding had taken her from her home and then to a storage unit, said Massey. While there, he allegedly pulled out a handgun and told her he was he was going to rape her and if she told her mother or police, he would kill her.

"He left her, and she waited several minutes, and she was able to leave the unit and call for help," Massey said. "People came to her aid and took her to the hospital."

About 20 minutes after detectives responded to the hospital, police received a call reporting a man had killed himself in the Benton Elementary School parking lot. Schools in the area went into lockdown.

Harding's Facebook page says he worked at T-Mobile in Oakland and operated AH Custom Printing in Waterville. He was a 1992 graduate of Lawrence High School in Fairfield.

Massey said police have never had any serious incidents with Harding. He was not listed on the Maine Sex Offender Registry either. ..Source.. by Morning Sentinel

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