Report: Judge grants bail for man accused of assaulting prostitute

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) – A dangerousness hearing was held Friday for a Fairhaven man accused in a vicious assault on a prostitute.

Prosecutors sought to have Jeffrey Couture held without bail but a District Court judge denied that request, South Coast Today reports.

Couture’s bail was set at $5,000, the paper said, but the judge said he’ll remain behind bars until Monday. If Couture posts bail, he’ll be released on home confinement with a GPS tracking device.

Couture is facing several charges including aggravated rape for an attack that occurred on July 30 but police suspect he may be involved in others.

According to court testimony, Couture is accused of brutally attacking a prostitute on July 29. Police said the woman was picked up on Achusnet Avenue in New Bedford and taken to a remote area in Freetown where she was allegedly raped and assaulted before she jumped out of the car and was found by a neighbor who called 911.

“She had severe head trauma. Her eyes were extremely swollen, she had bad rashes on her leg from jumping out of the car,” Massachusetts State Police Trooper Brock Morrissette said.

The victim spent five days in Rhode Island Hospital. She later told police the man pointed a gun at her and made her take off her clothes and struck her in the head several times with the weapon.

Morrissette testified that they performed a search of Couture’s garage Thursday and found a plastic BB gun that looks like a real gun in the drawer of a toolbox.

No other evidence in the July 29 assault was immediately found.

Morrissette said three cars suspected in other sexual assaults on prostitutes in the area matched three cars at Couture’s residence that he has access to, including vehicles that belong to his wife and son.

Couture has no prior criminal history and the investigation into all the assaults is ongoing.