Police Release Sketch of Alleged Franklin Township Trail Rapist

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FRANKLIN TWP., N.J. – Police have released a composite sketch of a man who committed a sexual assault on a state park trail this week and could be a suspect in other area sexual assaults.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office has released the following press release of the incident:

Somerset County Acting Prosecutor Annmarie Taggart, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Public Safety Director Quovella M. Maeweather announced that the investigation continues into a sexual assault that occurred near Blackwells Mills Road and Canal Road, Franklin Township, New Jersey and are releasing a composite sketch of the alleged actor.

Prosecutor Taggart stated that on Monday, May 16, 2022, at approximately 6:03 p.m., Franklin Township Police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a sexual assault on a park trail (Six Mile Run) located near Blackwells Mills Road and Canal Road. Upon arrival, officers met with an adult female victim, who reported being assaulted by an unknown male while she was running on the trail. Responding Franklin Township Police along with Officers from Hillsborough Township Police Department, South Brunswick Police Department and Montgomery Township Police Department proceeded to establish a perimeter in an attempt to locate the suspect. Detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Sex Crimes Unit, Crime Scene Investigations Unit and New Jersey State Park Police responded to conduct the investigation.

The victim reported to authorities that the unknown male suspect who was on a bicycle got off of his bicycle and tackled her to the ground when she was running on a trail. The female victim fought with the male suspect as he attempted to sexually assault her. The victim was able to fight her attacker and escape from the assault, immediately notifying authorities by dialing 9-1-1. The victim described the suspect as a Hispanic male approximately 5’6” to 5’7”, heavier build, approximately mid 30’s, wearing black pants or shorts, a green hoodie, and a blue gator face covering. The suspect is said to have fled the area on a bicycle. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment and released.

On May 17, 2022 a forensic artist assigned to the New Jersey State Police Forensic Imaging Unit responded to assist in the investigation. A composite sketch of the alleged suspect was generated and is being released to the public by authorities in an effort to generate leads. The public is urged not to confront the suspect if he is known to them and to notify the proper authorities.

Prosecutor Taggart stated that detectives are attempting to determine if the suspect involved in this recent incident is the same actor involved in previously reported attacks in Somerset and Middlesex Counties.

Prosecutor Taggart, Chief Fodor and Director Maeweather request anyone with information relating to the sexual assault to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Sex Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

Note: The following information is based on a preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview witnesses, review physical and electronic records, and analyze forensic evidence. The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office’s understanding of the facts and circumstances may change as additional evidence is collected and analyzed.

Press Release – Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office