Police: Convicted sex offender tried to drag woman into woods

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – A registered level-three sex offender is back behind bars after police said he attempted to assault a woman with a knife.

According to police, a woman called 911 after she said she was approached from behind by a man as she walked down Devil’s Foot Road in North Kingstown around 8 p.m. Thursday. The woman told police the man was wearing a ski mask and carrying a knife, and attempted to drag her into the woods. Police said the woman was able to get away and the suspect ran off.

Through an investigation, detectives said they identified 53-year-old Roger Corbin of North Kingstown as the suspect in the case. According to the Sex Offender Community Notification Unit, Corbin has been convicted of first-degree sexual assault or intent to sexually assault four women and girls ranging in age from 12 to 38; all of the victims were unknown to Corbin.

The attorney general’s office told Eyewitness News Corbin pleaded guilty in 1990 to two counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count of assault with intent of sexual assault in connection with three incidents in Providence in 1988. A spokeswoman for the AG’s office said the victims were ages 20, 15 and 12. At the time Corbin was sentenced to 40 years with 17 to serve. The AG’s office said at some point Corbin was released from prison, but re-offended and in 1999 was convicted of one count of assault with intent of sexual assault of a 38-year-old woman.

According to the attorney general’s office, Corbin was released from prison in September of this year. The chairwoman of the state’s parole board told Eyewitness News Corbin had completed his sentence.

Executive Director of the Alliance for Safe Communities Carolyn Medeiros commented, “we need to rethink incarceration, programs: sentencing, incarceration, and programs, and release, and supervision of high-level sex offenders in this state.”

Medeiros describes Corbin as a situational sex offender, “who pounces on his prey given the moment.”

A man at Corbin’s address in North Kingstown told Eyewitness News that he has known Corbin for 25 years and has a hard time reconciling what he knows of Corbin personally and the alleged crime.

Neighbors added that Corbin kept to himself and seemed to be turning his life around.

Corbin was taken into custody on Dec. 5 and charged with felony assault with a dangerous weapon and assault to commit a felony.

Police said he was arraigned and is being held without bail at the ACI.