Sexual assault suspect pleads not guilty


Xavier Neal, 18, was charged with several felonies, including aggravated kidnapping and assault with the intent to commit rape, in connection with the attack near the park's basketball court at about 4:30 p.m. on April 1, prosecutors and police said.

Neal pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignment hearing in San Francisco Superior Court Monday morning.

According to police, the female victim was jogging in the park when her assailant grabbed her from behind and forced her into a grassy area where he sexually assaulted her.

After the attack, the suspect fled on foot toward Brookdale Avenue in the direction of a public housing development, police said.

Police on Monday released a sketch of the attacker, and hours later identified Neal as the suspect. He was arrested that evening, police said.

Neal is being held in county jail in lieu of $5 million bail. He faces charges including forced oral copulation and making criminal threats, according to the district attorney's office.

He is due back in court again on April 18.

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