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Man charged in threatening sexual assault

Police arrested an Inverness man Wednesday afternoon on charges that he threatened to rape two women at a gift shop in the Highlands Square Shopping Center. James L. Crawford, 35, is accused of walking into the Necessary Objects store and waving a steak knife at two employees, Inverness Police Chief Massey Cook said. Crawford then threatened to sexually assault the women, Cook said.

The women ran out of the store and called 911 for help. Meanwhile, Crawford walked to a neighboring shop and told workers there what happened, Cook said.

Officers booked Crawford into the Citrus County jail on two counts each of aggravated assault and attempted sexual battery. He remained in jail Wednesday night with bail set at $16,000.

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