Law enforcement working to determine if suspect arrested for sexual assaults at parks in Somerset County responsible for D&R Canal State Park case

A Raritan Borough man has been arrested and charged with sexual assault for attacking women on a trail near Blackwells Mills and Canal roads in Franklin and at Duke Island Park in Bridgewater, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office announced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Somerset County First Assistant Prosecutor Annemarie Mueller also said the prosecutor’s office was working with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to determine if the man was responsible for the sexual assault at the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in South Brunswick that took place in September of 2021. In that incident, a woman was walking along the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park path next to the canal in the late afternoon on Sept. 28 when she was approached by a man with a weapon, forced off the trail, taken to another location, and raped near the border of Plainsboro and South Brunswick.

Rogelio Calyeca Postrero, 38, has been charged with first-degree aggravated assault, lewdness for allegedly masturbating in public near a bridge in Raritan Borough, and for knowingly exhibiting false documents in Branchburg last year. A judge has ordered that Postrero be kept in the Somerset County Jail pending trial.

On July 18 of 2021, police in Bridgewater received a 911 call reporting a sexual assault in Duke Island Park. A woman reported being sexually assaulted by an unknown man while riding her bike in the park. She said the man came up behind her, held a knife to her throat, and asked for her money, The man then sexually assaulted her in the bushes nearby and fled the area on his bicycle.

On May 16 of this year, police in Franklin Township responded to a 911 call reporting a sexual assault on the park trail near Blackwells Mills Road and Canal Road. A woman reported being assaulted on the trail while she was jogging. Her assailant got off his bicycle and tackled her to the ground. She was able to fight him and escape.

Postrero was arrested and charged with lewdness for masturbating near a park on Aug. 4. Police determined that his description matched the suspect’s descriptions in the assault cases. They executed a search warrant at his home and found a bicycle that matched the description of the bike in the Franklin Township assault. According to the prosecutor’s office, a forensic analysis confirmed that his DNA matched the sample obtained from the Bridgewater assault.

The area of the September assault near the border of South Brunswick and Plainsboro.
Police sketch of the suspect in the D&R Canal State Park sexual assault.

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