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Suspect Charged In Rittenhouse Sex Assault Case

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PHILADELPHIA -

Philadelphia Police say they have charged the suspect in the Rittenhouse rape case.

As night fell over the area of 1900 Spruce Street in Rittenhouse people out and about were relieved, including a group of women out celebrating a birthday.

"This morning I felt a lot better coming downtown knowing he was off the streets," said Jennifer Johnson.

Police say it was 72 hours of intense police work that led investigators to 28-year-old Honduran national Milton Mateo Garcia. He was taken in for questioning Monday night just before 9 p.m. and now stands charged with the sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman in her Spruce Street apartment.

“We have this guy off the street and you can rest easy today,” said Special Victims Unit Captain John Darby.

Garcia was picked up at a Broad Street restaurant where police say he works preparing food. He also makes deliveries for other restaurants to the Rittenhouse Square area where the attack took place Saturday morning.

Detectives also confiscated his bike; they say it's similar to the one seen on surveillance video right before the attack.

“This appears to have been a crime of opportunity,” said Special Victims Unit Captain John Darby.

Detectives also searched Garcia’s home at 8th and Moore and found the victim's stolen cell phone. It was a cellphone search app that first led investigators there just hours after the attack Saturday morning.

“It took a lot of leg work, lot of boots on the ground, lot of talking, talking to the neighbors,” said Special Victims Unit Lt. Anthony McFadden.

Police say investigators also recovered the victim's keys in Garcia's pocket when he was picked up. They say he gave them a statement on the attack, described to Fox 29 as "self- serving."

Police are now trying to link Garcia to an incident at 16th and Pine an hour before the Spruce Street sexual assault. That's where a woman reported a man on a bike exposing himself.

“We look for cases that may be similar because of the mobility of the offender,” Special Victims Unit Captain John Darby. “More importantly this young professional woman and her family can begin to rebuild their lives.”

The suspect is being held without bail.  Police are reviewing surveillance video in that area to see if Garcia is responsible for that incident.



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