HIGHLAND PARK — After what authorities called an "intensive investigation," a 23-year-old man has been charged with beating and sexually assault of a woman.

The attack happened on Feb. 19 on Harper Avenue when, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey said, Brandon Cox of Franklin Township approached the woman with a gun and forced her into the basement of a nearby apartment building. A child was with her at the time, Carey said.

Carey said Cox then proceeded to sexually assault the woman and punched her before fleeing the scene.

After the attack, Carey said, the woman ran to a neighbor's home and alerted the police. She was then taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for treatment.

Cox, who had been arrested last week on an unrelated charge, was questioned by officers from the Highland Park Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office before being charged in this incident, Carey said.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about the case to call Detective Sean McGraw of the Highland Park Police Department at 732-572-3800, or Detective Allie Bitterman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office at 732-745-4401.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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