Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Stephen Rizco of the Highland Park Police Department said a 23-year-old man has been charged with beating and sexually assaulting a Highland Park woman at gunpoint.
Brandon Cox, 23, of the Somerset section of Franklin Township has been charged with 16 counts in the attack of the woman on February 19, 2017 on Harper Avenue in Highland Park.
Mr. Cox has been charged with counts of kidnapping, attempted murder, aggravated assault; aggravated sexual assault; aggravated criminal sexual contact; armed robbery; burglary; unlawful possession of a weapon; possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose; endangering the welfare of a child, and endangering an injured victim. Mr. Cox was arrested earlier last week on an unrelated charge. He subsequently was charged with attacking the woman.
Detective Sean McGraw of the Highland Park Police Department and Detective Allie Bitterman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office charged Mr. Cox during an intensive investigation.
The investigation, which still is active and continuing, has indicated that the victim was walking with a child when the defendant approached her, displayed a weapon, forced her into the basement of a nearby apartment building, sexually assaulted her and repeatedly punched her before fleeing. Police were alerted to the attack when a resident of Harper Avenue called police after the victim ran to the neighbor’s home following the attack. The victim was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
The day before this announcement from the prosecutor’s office, Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler told the Highland Park Planet that the Highland Park Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office “have been working on this investigation 24/7. It is still an ongoing investigation. Many residents have noticed the increased municipal and county police cars around town.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective McGraw of the Highland Park Police Department at (723) 572-3800, or Detective Bitterman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4401. As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Mr. Cox are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.