Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information:

A 54-year-old Jersey City man has been charged and arrested for kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy after he barricaded the teen in his apartment and sexually assaulted him.

Robert Harper, of Jersey City, was charged with Kidnapping in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:13- 1(B)(1), a crime of the first degree; Aggravated Sexual Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14- 2(A)(3), a crime of the first degree; two counts of second-degree Sexual Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2C; Aggravated Sexual Contact in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3A, a crime of the third degree; and Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4A(1), a crime of the third degree. He was arrested at his residence on Union Street in Jersey City just before 5 p.m. on Friday, March 26, 2021.

The sexual assault occurred after the teen met Harper at Berry Lane Park on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Harper invited the teen to his apartment and the teen voluntarily went to the apartment. Harper later barricaded the teen in the residence and proceeded to sexually assault him before the teen was able to get out. The teen immediately ran to the police to report the incident.

Prosecutor Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Jersey City Police Department for the investigation and arrest.

A detention hearing for Harper is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

The above charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6).