Police made an arrest in connection with the rape of a 15-year-old Newark girl.
According to police, Zakery A. Neldon, 23, was arrested and charged with felony rape in connection with the Oct. 9 attack of a Newark High School student on her way to school.
The 15-year-old female student at Newark High School reported being abducted and sexually assaulted on her way to school.
The girl was walking westbound on the north side of Granville Street near the area of Pearl Street, when the man began to follow her shortly before 8 a.m. The man is believed to have crossed the street from High to Pearl streets via the foot bridge over state Route 16.
Neighbors said Neldon lives in a duplex apartment with his girlfriend, and can't believe he's the one charged with committing such a violent crime.
"Yeah, I'm still trying to stomach that one,” said one neighbor.
Newark Police said evidence gathered on the victim, and at the scene, matched Neldon's DNA which had been stored in a federal database following a prior conviction.
Det. Steve Vanoy said he interviewed Neldon for three hours before he finally made a partial confession to the crimes.
"It's not uncommon when people make mistakes to try to minimize their involvement and Mr. Neldon did just that. But there were several statements that he made. There's no doubt that it was Mr. Neldon,” said Vanoy.
Charging him with a first degree felony, a judge set Neldon's bond at a million dollars.
Newark Police said they hope his arrest begins to restore a sense of security to their shaken community.
According to the prosecutor's office, Neldon did not know the victim and allegedly acted alone.
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Oct. 11, 2012: Police Release Picture, Video Of Man Accused Of Sexually Assaulting 15-Year-Old Student
Oct. 10, 2012: Alert Issued After Newark High School Student Sexually Assaulted While Walking To School
Oct. 10, 2012: Newark High School Student Allegedly Sexually Assaulted Near School