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Man held in attack on newspaper saleswoman

August 15, 2007|Christopher goffard | Time Staff Writer

A Lake Forest man accused of attacking an 18-year-old woman who came to his door to sell newspapers was being held Tuesday in lieu of $25,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 31 in Harbor Court in Newport Beach.

Mark Milan, 56, allegedly invited the woman into his apartment at 23333 Ridge Route in Lake Forest on Saturday afternoon, then grabbed her, dropped his pants and forced her to touch him sexually, according to Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino.

The woman, described as "small and rather petite" compared with Milan, who is 6 feet 4, managed to push her attacker away and escaped into the street, Amormino said.

She hid until she could flag down co-workers in the neighborhood who were also selling the Orange County Register.

"I'm sure the adrenaline was pumping," Amormino said. "She did what she was supposed to do and probably prevented being raped or worse."

As Milan drove away in his car, authorities said, the newspaper sales team followed him in its van and, when he refused to stop, one of the salesmen threw a tire iron into Milan's back window. An hour later, Milan contacted the Sheriff's Department to report that he had been followed by two suspicious men, authorities said.

He agreed to meet deputies at a Starbucks, where they arrested him. He was being held on charges of false imprisonment and sexual battery.

Amormino said Milan had no criminal record in California. Milan had been arrested in New York, but Amormino said he could not provide details.

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christopher.goffard@latimes.com

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