MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A suspect was arrested and taken into custody on Saturday in connection with the sexual assault and home invasion that occurred in Maplewood on Tuesday, Oct. 16, according to a statement from Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II and Maplewood Police Chief Jim DeVaul.
According to Stephens and DeVaul, "after an extensive investigation, detectives from the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and the Maplewood Police Department have charged Muhammad Sharif, age 40, of Irvington, with Aggravated Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault and Burglary."
Acting Prosecutor Stephens commended the efforts of the members of his office's Special Victims Unit and Major Crimes Unit as well as detectives from the Maplewood Police Department. "Personnel from both agencies worked tirelessly during this joint investigation and their efforts resulted in the swift arrest of the suspect," stated Stephens.
The woman, age 24, first encountered the man around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, and preliminary investigation indicates that he followed her home, forced his way into her house, and sexually assaulted her, stated a previous press release.
The woman was transported to an area hospital on Tuesday, where she was treated and released, according to authorities.
Sharif has been remanded to the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark pending an appearance in the Essex County Central Judicial Processing Court (CJP). The investigation is continuing at this time.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Prosecutor's Tips Line at (877) 847-7432.