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Watkins man charged in connection with sexual assault

LITCHFIELD — A 32-year-old Watkins man is facing first-, second- and third-degree felony criminal sexual conduct and misdemeanor domestic assault charges in connection with a violent sexual assault at a Watkins home.

Paul Matthew Ashfeld was charged March 13 in Meeker County District Court. He was booked into the Meeker County Jail, but posted $10,000 bail and was released with conditions.

The assault was alleged to have happened early March 11. The alleged victim was familiar to Ashfeld, according to the criminal complaint on the charges.

The charges allege Ashfeld tore off the woman's clothing, slapped and strangled her, held her down, and raped her several times.

All the while, the woman later told police, she attempted to fight free, biting Ashfeld and scratching at his face. At one point, she freed herself and ran into a bathroom. She locked herself inside.

Ashfeld allegedly broke into the bathroom and dragged the woman back into another room, where he continued to assault her.

He allegedly told the woman that he was going to "make her hurt because she had made him hurt" and wanted to "forcibly impregnate her," according to the criminal complaint.

The woman reported the assault to the Meeker County Sheriff's Office. Deputies reportedly observed marks and bruising on her face and neck.

Later, deputies arrested Ashfeld, who reportedly had scratches on his face near his eyes, which authorities found consistent with the woman's statement, according to the criminal complaint.

Ashfeld filed a court motion last week attempting to suppress and exclude some of the evidence in the case. That matter will be considered at his next court hearing, set for May 4.