A suburban mother says she is happy that a suspect is in custody after allegedly sexually assaulting a girl on a popular bike path earlier this month, but she says that her daughter’s life has permanently changed, and that the teen’s innocence has been taken away by the horrific crime.
The woman, who declined to be identified, spoke exclusively to NBC 5 about the news that the alleged attacker, identified as 27-year-old Tramane Johnson, had been taken into custody.
She says that her daughter is recuperating after the attack, which took place earlier this month on the Robert McClory Bike Path in suburban Beach Park.
“I’ve just encouraged her to take it hour by hour, day by day, but she’s not the same,” she said.
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The attack happened on June 7 just after 7:30 p.m. Police say that Johnson allegedly yelled at the girl from the tree line, then came out of the woods and attacked her.
A nearby resident intervened, screaming at the attacker and yelling at the girl to get help. The girl ran to the neighbor, and the suspect fled the scene.
The key clue in the case came in the form of a strand of hair, which was recovered in the aftermath of the attack. That hair, which was checked against an FBI database, was a match for Johnson, according to authorities.
Now, Johnson faces multiple felony counts in connection to the attack, but the girl’s mother says that the arrest, and even the possibility of a conviction, are of small comfort as her daughter tries to recover from the harrowing attack.
“It’ll never be fitting. It’ll never be fair,” she said. “Innocence was stolen, a life was completely changed and not by her choice. It wasn’t by her decisions, because it’s okay to go for a walk in the daytime.”