A South Carolina man charged with kidnapping a woman who said she was repeatedly raped and beaten on a trip from that state to Lewiston in July pleaded not guilty to that and other charges Monday.

Dustin Beach Androscoggin County Jail photo

Dustin Beach, 25, of Green Pond, South Carolina, appeared in U.S. District Court in Portland, shackled and wearing an orange jail suit, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, interstate stalking and four counts of witness tampering.

A federal grand jury handed up the additional charges earlier this month.

Beach faces up to life in prison on the Class A felony kidnapping charge. Maximum punishment for stalking is 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000; for witness tampering, 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

A judge ruled in August that Beach be held in jail on the kidnapping charge pending trial, which had been scheduled for this month before the other charges were added. Beach’s attorney had waived his right last summer to a bail hearing because of an active warrant for Beach’s arrest from South Carolina.

On Monday, David Beneman, Beach’s court-appointed attorney, asked U.S. Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III for additional time to file motions and to push back Beach’s trial to March, given the new charges.

Rich agreed.

Federal investigators said Beach is facing similar kidnapping charges in South Carolina, plus drug and gun charges. His arrest stemmed from a report that he had assaulted his girlfriend with a bullwhip, a stick, a shotgun and a pistol over two days in February. She said he had taken her cellphone to prevent her from seeking help.

Beach reportedly cut off a GPS monitor after being released on bail.

In the Maine case, Beach forced a woman to stay in his pickup truck after offering her a ride to a Walmart in South Carolina, then told her he couldn’t release her because he was wanted, investigators wrote in court papers.

The woman told investigators that Beach smashed her cellphone and raped and beat her during the trip to Maine.

At one point, she said, he held her face under water until she passed out. He hit her at various times with a cane, a hammer, the center console of his truck and his fists, feet and elbow.

She said she repeatedly pleaded to be released, but Beach refused and threatened to kill her and her children.

Lewiston police were dispatched shortly after 2:30 a.m. July 25 to the Super 8 Motel on Lisbon Street for a report of a woman who’d been hit with a hammer.

Police saw the woman sitting in the lobby wearing large, dark sunglasses. Police could see bruises on her throat and chest. She asked police if they could take her from the motel before her assailant returned.

When later interviewed by police, Beach said he had asked the woman if she wanted to go to Maine and she accepted his invitation. He said he had been trying to help her leave the house she had lived in.

Beach told police the woman’s injuries predated his contacts with her. He said they had consensual sex.

Evidence found in Beach’s truck included items the woman told police they would find, including her smashed cellphone, a black-handled hammer, a cane and a shirt she claimed she had worn that was stained with her blood.

In a superseding indictment, a federal grand jury charged Beach with transporting his alleged victim across state lines “with the intent to injure, harass and intimidate” her and he placed her in “reasonable fear of serious bodily injury and caused (her) substantial emotional distress.”

Beach also attempted to influence testimony of one or more witnesses on four occasions in August after he was incarcerated, according to court papers.

In one of the counts of witness tampering, Beach is charged with having said: “You let that (expletive) know, every (expletive) day I do in here … if he is still alive when I get out, I’m going to think about that (expletive) every single (expletive) day. You let that (expletive) know, he is going to be the main thought in in my head for 360 (expletive) months. He better hope to god that he is (expletive) dead by the time I get out, you hear me?”

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