A 22-year-old man has appeared in court in relation to the attack and rape of a 62-year-old woman at the Victory Community Gardens in Nelson on New Year's Day.
The man was arrested today after police found DNA evidence gathered at the scene of the crime matched that of the Nelson man.
He appeared in the Nelson District Court charged with kidnapping, aggravated Injuring, injuring with Intent to Injure, indecent assault and four counts of sexual violation
Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge said the man was on the police suspect list prior to the DNA match being discovered.
He said the victim had been informed and she was very relieved to hear the news.
"Her relief is shared by our entire investigation team who have put in some long hours since this terrible incident on New Year's Day. I'm sure the people of Nelson will also be very relieved to know we have this man in custody," he said.
The woman received substantial head and facial injuries, along with cuts and bruising to her body. Her injuries were not life-threatening.
Nelson Bays Area Commander Inspector Steve Greally congratulated the investigation team for their work.
"This crime was particularly heinous in nature and generated a great deal of emotion within the wider Nelson community and particularly within the Victory area."
Greally congratulated Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge and his investigation team for the "countless hours they invested to enable an arrest".
"I would also like to thank members of the community for their assistance in resolving this matter."
Greally said there was still a lot of work required in the prosecution phase of the investigation and that was where police would now be focusing their efforts.