Maui sex assault victim testifies: "I was going to die"

Cowans, 43, held on $1 million bail

 UPDATED 12:42 PM HST Jun 06, 2013
WAILUKU, Hawaii -

The victim of a Maui dressing room sexual assault says she thought she was going to die.

The 33-year-old woman testified Wednesday during a preliminary hearing for Charles Cowans, accused of last week's violent attack in a store dressing room.

The Maui News reports she became faint when he put both hands around her neck and squeezed after he pulled her back into the dressing room.  She says he ripped off her shorts and sexually assaulted her.

When the woman was asked by the deputy prosecutor what she thought was going to happen, she replied, "That I was going to die."

Cowans, 43, is charged with sexual assault, attempted sexual assault and kidnapping.  A judge increased his bail to $1 million.

District Judge Adrianne Heely calls the woman's testimony credible and courageous.  A prosecutor says the alleged attack happened a day after Cowan was released from jail.

Cowans also registered as a sex offender in the hours before the alleged attack on Friday.

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