Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino today announced Jose Max Mari, Jr., 28, of Clifton has been arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault upon an incapacitated person, aggravated assault and criminal restraint.
It is alleged that in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 19, 2010 Mari was seen putting an unknown substance in drinks at a Paterson nightclub. He was then seen following the 28-year-old victim out of the nightclub parking lot. Later she pulled over on Route 21 in Nutley because she had a flat tire. Mari, who she recognized from the bar, pulled behind her in his BMW and offered assistance. He then took the victim back to his Clifton home and allegedly sexually assaulted her.
The victim did not recall much of the incident but said she woke up in a strange place with her pants around her ankles and Mari choking her. He then allegedly dropped her off at her mother's home in Hawthorne. Investigators were able to identify the suspect from videotape at the bar.
The case initially came to the attention of authorities on June 19, 2010 at approximately 6:10 AM when Nutley Police officers responded to a call regarding a gray Mitsubishi Eclipse that was set on fire on Route 21 South in Nutley.
After the fire was brought under control, police went to the home of the owner of the car. She told officers she had been raped.
Mari was arrested yesterday. Bail was set at $250,000 by the Honorable Raymond Reddin, JSC. The defendant posted bail today and is currently free. Under the bail terms, Mari cannot go near the victim. He was also required to surrender his travel documents.
Acting Prosecutor Laurino commended the Nutley and Clifton police departments.
The case will be turned over to the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office because the crimes allegedly occurred in Clifton.
These are mere accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.