Police: Truck Used In Rape Near UD Campus Located, Suspect Charged

On May 4, 2019, after the release of photos of the suspect vehicle, Newark Police received various tips as to the possible suspect vehicle. Detectives, who had been working on the case non-stop since it was reported, immediately began to follow-up on the tips, according to Lt Andrew Rubin.

Rubin said Detectives located the suspect vehicle parked at a residence on Nottingham Road in Newark. Detectives immediately began to conduct surveillance on the vehicle. They determined that the registered owner of the vehicle matched the description of the suspect. When the suspect left the residence, he was stopped by officers and found to have a knife in his possession. As the Detectives continued the investigation, they developed further probable cause to arrest the suspect, said Rubin.

The suspect, Roberto Rodriguez, 41, of Newark, was transported to Newark Police Headquarters where he was charged with the following offenses:

Rape First Degree
Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony
Unlawful Sexual Contact Third Degree
Theft Under $1500
Malicious Interference with Emergency Communications

The theft and malicious interference charges are a result of Rodriguez taking the victim’s phone from her to prevent her from calling the police, Rubin said.

Rodriguez appeared before Justice of the Peace Court #11 in New Castle where he was ordered to be held on $63,000 cash bail. Rodriguez was transported to the Howard R. Young Correctional Facility in Wilmington.


Newark – Just after 10:00 last evening a truck matching the description of a vehicle wanted in relation to an alleged sexual assault of a 21-year-old woman was delivered to Newark Police Headquarters.

Police have not said if the vehicle that was delivered on the back of a tow truck is the suspect vehicle, if it’s related to the case or if anyone is in custody.


Original Story

The Newark Police Department is investigating a reported sexual assault that occurred on May 4, 2019, at about 1:15 a.m., according to Lt Andrew Rubin

Rubin said at 2:03, Newark Police received a 911 call reporting a sexual assault that just occurred. Responding officers contacted the victim of the assault, a 21-year-old female. The victim reported that at about 1:15, she was walking on South Chapel Street in the area of East Delaware Avenue in Newark. The victim reported that a GMC pick-up truck pulled up to her and the male driver told her that he was driving for a rideshare service and offered her a ride home. The victim had not called for a ride.

The victim got into the vehicle and the driver began to drive northbound on North Chapel Street. At one point in the drive, while at an undetermined area, the driver pulled over and produced a knife (no further description). The driver then told the victim to perform a sexual act with him, while displaying the knife. After the sexual act was completed, the driver then continued to drive the victim, according to Rubin.

Once on Vassar Drive in Newark, the victim was able to exit the vehicle and went to a nearby residence where 911 was called.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, about 40 years of age, medium build, short hair and he spoke in broken English with an accent.

The suspect vehicle is described as a silver 4-door GMC pick-up truck with an extended cab and a tool chest behind the cab. The vehicle reportedly has a license plate from an unknown state on both the front and back of the vehicle.

The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Det. D. Bystricky at (302) 366-7100 x. 3136 or dbystricky@newark.de.us.

The following photos of the suspect vehicle, obtained from various cameras in Newark, are being released to the public.

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