AUBURN — A local man faces several felony charges stemming from what police said was an assault on his girlfriend who was choked and terrorized with a steak knife.

Gary Gowen, 41, of 152 Court St. was indicted Tuesday by an Androscoggin County grand jury on two felonies and two misdemeanors. They are:

• Aggravated assault, a Class B charge punishable by up to 10 years in prison;

• Domestic violence terrorizing with a dangerous weapon, a Class C charge that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison;

• Domestic violence assault and obstructing report of a crime or injury, Class D charges, each punishable by up to 364 days in jail.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on Friday.


Police said they responded to Gowen’s home shortly before 9 p.m. Jan. 3 after a woman reported she was being attacked by her boyfriend.

The victim was in the living room crying when police arrived at the home, according to an affidavit written by Officer Devon Bohacik. The woman was “favoring her left wrist, which appeared to be swollen,” and he called for local fire and rescue workers to be sent to the home, he wrote.

The victim said she and Gowen had begun to argue about one of his friends coming to their apartment for a visit. He ordered her out of their bedroom. She went to the living room, where Gowen had followed. As they argued, he “picked up a kitchen steak knife and approached” the victim. She said he “grabbed her by the hair and held the knife in front of her.” He said to her. “‘I understand why people go away to prison for life,'” she told police. He put the knife down and grabbed her around the throat with one hand and pushed her into a chair in the living room. He began to choke her with one hand around her throat and threatened to “f*** her up,” she told police.

She said she wasn’t able to breathe during that time, Bohacik wrote.

When Gowen released his grip, the victim went to the entryway of the apartment building to call 911, she said, according to the affidavit. As she was dialing, Gowen came into the entryway and tried to grab her phone. She hung up with 911 and hid her phone. When he retreated, the dispatch operator called her back. While she was talking to the operator, Gowen returned and punched her with closed fists. The victim put both hands around her head in an effort to block Gowen’s blows. He left the building before officers arrived.

According to Bohacik, the victim had a red abrasion on her right cheek that continued up to her eyelid, a red bump on her forehead, over her right eye, and her left ear was red and she complained that it was painful. She said she could feel several bumps on her head under her hair.


He asked her about her wrist. She said she couldn’t move it.

Bohacik noticed her voice was strained and hoarse sounding. He saw a discolored mark on the left side of her neck. He also noticed broken blood vessels in her left eye, a sign of strangulation, he wrote.

The victim was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Her discharge paperwork from the hospital revealed a broken finger, head injury, soft tissue damage and skin abrasions.

Bohacik referred her to a domestic violence organization and officers escorted her back to her apartment, where there was no sign of Gowen.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: