KEITH WHITCOMB JR., Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- A Pownal man is facing a felony charge after a woman accused him of performing a lewd act in her bedroom.

Christopher E. Simpson, 22, pleaded not guilty to a felony count of lewd and lascivious conduct Monday in Vermont Superior Court and was released on conditions, including that he not contact the complaining witness.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Cpl. Joshua Stemp, on Sunday at 4:39 a.m. police received a call from a woman saying Simpson was touching her things as well as himself in an inappropriate manner. Bennington Police Sgt. Camillo Grande went to the scene and found Simpson nearby, who said a woman was accusing him of "raping" her. Grande told him that was not the case, and Simpson clarified by saying he was being accused of "rape-like" behavior.

Simpson appeared heavily intoxicated and provided a breath sample showing his blood-alcohol content to be .237 percent. He was also found in possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Police learned from the woman that Simpson had come to her home earlier and tried to kiss and "snuggle" her, but she refused his advances. She let him share her bed, where they slept fully clothed, because he was drunk and had nowhere else to go. The woman said she woke up in the night to find Simpson nude. He then got up and performed a lewd act on himself.

She said she has only known Simpson for two days and would not have let him stay but for his level of intoxication and not having anywhere he could go that night.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr