Sex Offender Arrested in Arlington Rape Held Without Bail

A Level 3 sex offender was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Monday after police say he broke into an Arlington home and raped a woman at knifepoint.

Essie L. Billingslea, 45, of Boston was arrested by Arlington Police and charged with aggravated rape (subsequent offense), kidnapping, home invasion, assault and battery, and armed assault in a dwelling after the attack allegedly took place just after 8 p.m. on Sunday night. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

At a press conference Monday morning, officials said the victim was somehow able to contact a friend before Billingslea got to her. Sensing something was wrong, the friend called police and asked for a well-being check.

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Once they arrived at the location, officers said they saw a man run out the back door of the house. They chased him down and detained him, according to police.

Inside the home, officers found the woman, who said someone broke in and sexually assaulted her. She was seriously injured, according to police.

“This is a heinous crime. A woman has been viciously attacked in her home by a Level 3 sex offender with a history of violence,” said Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan in the statement. “I commend my officers for capturing this dangerous felon, and we will spare no resource in providing the victim with the support and care that she needs.”

Police said the victim and Billingslea were not previously known to each other, but that Billingslea may have had family members who lived in the area.

Billingslea has three previous sexual assault convictions on his record, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety’s sex offender detail flyer about him, posted online. Billingslea was convicted of raping a child with force in 1989. In 1995, he was convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 years of age and rape and abuse of a child.

At Monday’s press conference, police also said Billingslea was hospitalized Sunday night for injuries unrelated to his arrest. He was transferred to Arlington Police Department ahead of his arraignment in Cambridge District Court, which is set for later Monday morning.

The victim’s name, age, and address are being withheld by police.