Woman followed home, sexually assaulted in New Jersey

MAPLEWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police in New Jersey are searching for a suspect and warning residents after a young woman was followed home and sexually assaulted.

The home invasion and assault happened around 11:30 a.m. in Maplewood.

Authorities say the preliminary investigation indicates that the man followed the victim home, forced his way into her house and sexually assaulted her.

She was transported to an area hospital, where she was treated and released.

The suspect remains at large.

Maplewood has a stepped-up police presence throughout the town, and the following alert was sent to residents urging them not to open their doors to strangers.

"Residents are asked to call 911 to report any suspicious persons, vehicles or activity. Residents should be aware of their surroundings especially if walking alone and not provide personal information to strangers. Do not open your door to strangers, talk thru an open window if you have to. Call 911 immediately if possibly being followed. Parents are asked to have conversations with their children on safety and instruct them to call 911 first in the event of an emergency."

The investigation is active and ongoing, and additional information will be released as it becomes available.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.

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