A 72-year-old Fairfax County man has been charged with raping an 11-year-old girl more than 25 years ago, police said yesterday.

The woman, now 36, told police in November that Arthur M. Carmean, who now lives in the 3300 block of Ayers Drive, sexually assaulted her numerous times in 1973 and 1974.

Carmean, who is not related to the woman but knew the family, has been charged with rape in connection with one incident that occurred during that time span, police spokeswoman Katie Hughes said.

The woman described several similar incidents, but it will be up to the Fairfax commonwealth's attorney whether to bring any additional charges, Hughes said. There is no statute of limitations on rape, she said.

Carmean said yesterday that he did not commit the crime. "I'm not guilty. That's just a charge. It hasn't been proved yet," he said in a brief telephone interview.

Police would not give details of the alleged incident and were not sure what led the woman to come forward after so many years.

"Sometimes people remember years later," Hughes said. "We don't know exactly what the circumstances were here."

Police called Carmean on Wednesday, and he agreed to come to the Mount Vernon station for questioning about the alleged incident.

After speaking with a detective, Carmean was charged and taken into custody that same day, police said. He was released on a personal recognizance bond of $25,000.