PITTSFIELD -- A 41-year-old man police say broke into a house and sexually assaulted a woman is being held on $100,000 bail after pleading not guilty on Thursday in Berkshire Superior Court to two felonies.
Police said Christopher S. Peterson of Francis Avenue, Pittsfield, broke into a 26-year-old woman's Pittsfield home on Nov. 14 and raped her. It was unclear whether the alleged victim knew Peterson.
Peterson was arrested by the Pittsfield Police on Dec. 7 and has been held since his arrest. On Thursday, he pleaded not guilty to single counts of aggravated rape and breaking and entering in the nighttime for a felony. The charge of aggravated rape carries a maximum sentence of life.
On Wednesday, Judge Daniel A. Ford ordered Peterson held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction on $100,000 bail with the condition that he have no contact with the victim if he makes bail.
Peterson also has two open cases in district court. One is a charge of larceny from a person. He allegedly stole a woman's purse from her shopping cart in February, while he was helping her unload groceries at the Price Chopper in Lenox, where he was employed at the time.
He is also facing a single count of making a false crime report after allegedly calling Berkshire Community College and reporting that a friend of his had pulled a gun on another student. Police said the incident never happened and that Peterson was attempting to get the student in trouble.
Peterson is scheduled to be back in Superior Court on Jan. 22.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Marianne Shelvey is prosecuting the case. Peterson is being represented by attorney Nathaniel K. Green.