A registered sex offender from West Covina was being held without bail in Murrieta Saturday after having his tongue bitten off by a woman he allegedly sexually assaulted, authorities said.
Ronald Douglas McGowan Jr., 32, was booked on suspicion of rape and robbery Friday when he went to an emergency room for treatment, Murrieta police Sgt. Tony Conrad said.
According to state records, McGowan is a registered sex offender with previous convictions including rape and child molestation.
“I think she showed a lot of courage to fight back,” Conrad said.
In many cases when only property is at stake, police advise crime victims to comply with criminals, he said. “In this case, I think she was fighting to save her life.”
The attack was reported about 10:20 a.m. at an apartment in the 24800 block of Hancock Avenue in Murrieta, Conrad said.
“During the assault, it was determined the victim bit off the suspect’s tongue in an attempt to defend herself,” police said in a written statement. “The tongue was located at the scene by officers.”
Within an hour, McGowan arrived at an area emergency room and was arrested, Conrad said. Doctors could not reattach the tongue.
“It’s uncomfortable for him to speak,” Conrad said, adding that when McGowan does talk, he now slurs his speech.
Police believe McGowan specifically targeted the woman, but declined to give further details about the motive or whether McGowan and the woman knew each other prior to the incident
The woman, who was in her 20s, was initially hospitalized but has since been released Conrad said.
According to court records, McGowan was booked on suspicion of rape, robbery, kidnapping to commit robbery and a special allegation of committing a felony causing great bodily injury with three prior convictions. He is being held without bail and is due for arraignment at the Riverside Superior Court Southwest Justice Center Tuesday.
*Booking photo of Ronald McGowan Jr. courtesy of the Murrieta Police Department