ROCKLAND — A state judge set bail Tuesday, Jan. 24, at $5,000 cash for a 73-year-old Virginia man accused of sexually assaulting a Rockland woman.

Joel F. Becker of Norfolk, Virginia was arrested Jan. 18 by Rockland police and charged with Class C felony unlawful sexual contact and misdemeanor unlawful sexual touching.

At Becker’s initial appearance in the Knox County court via Zoom on Jan. 24, Judge Andrew Robinson set bail at $5,000 cash and ordered Becker sign a Maine Pre-Trial Contract before he could be released. Defense attorney Peter Cyr had asked that Becker be released on his personal recognizance.

The defense lawyer pointed out his client had no criminal record and was not a risk of not returning to court.

Assistant District Attorney Kathryn King requested the $5,000 bail. She cited the felony nature of the criminal charge and that Becker had no ties to Maine.

An affidavit filed in court by Rockland police stated that a Rockland woman reported that Becker had been a friend and had come up to some home repairs for her. She said when he was leaving the project on Tuesday, Jan. 17, she feigned being asleep and Becker came over and groped her and sexually assaulted her before he left, according to the affidavit.

Becker told police that the two had been friends for more than 30 years and they had a consensual sexual relationship. He said she was difficult to wake up, suggesting to police that medication she took may have led to her being a deep sleeper.

He told police that when he was leaving her house on Jan. 17, he tried to wake her up and she would not, so be began fondling her, according to the affidavit. When police informed him that the woman was faking being asleep during the fondling, he expressed disbelief, according to the affidavit.

The criminal complaint states that the victim had not acquiesced to the sexual contact.

Becker is next scheduled to appear in court on April 13. His initial appearance was twice delayed by the courts being closed due to winter storms on the previous Friday and Monday.