NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police have captured a man they say is responsible for a sexual assault that took place Thursday afternoon in a French Street home.
Police were called at about 1:30pm, but they were unsure of whether they were responding to a break-in or an assault. As it turned out, it was both.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) announced they were seeking a suspect via a press release sent at 6:35pm. But at 7:01, MCPO spokesman Jim O’Neill sent a follow-up email asking news outlets to hold off on reporting the announcement.
“After sending out the release, there was a new development that I cannot explain at this time. Publishing the news release may hurt our investigation,” the email said.
Today, O’Neill told NewBrunswickToday.com the reason for the delay.
“My officers told me that they were close to making an arrest,” he said.
But the Associated Press reported the announcement of the assault sometime around 7:34pm.
In the end, O’Neill gave the OK to run the release at 9:14pm, but officers only had to wait a few more hours to make an arrest.
Corey Stewart was arrested in his home on Lehigh Place in Irvington later that night by Irvington Police, 11 hours after his alleged crime.
Investigator Andreea Capraru of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Detective Raymond Quick of the New Brunswick Police Department were credited with determining Stewart was the man who broke into 232 French Street and sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman.
According to a second release from O’Neill, the investigation showed that Stewart choked the woman during the sexual assault and no weapons were used.
“The investigation further determined that the defendant and victim did not know each other.”
New Brunswick police returned to the scene of the crime today to follow-up with the victims, according to police radio transmissions.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.