Suspect in sex assault of 71-year-old woman in East Mount Airy arrested in North Carolina

Police say the suspect, identified as 22-year-old Zyree Downing, entered the victim's home through an unlocked door.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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The man who was being sought for allegedly sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman during a home invasion earlier this month in Philadelphia is now in custody.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The man who was being sought for allegedly sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman during a home invasion earlier this month in Philadelphia is now in custody.

Police say 22-year-old Zyree Downing was arrested just after 11:30 p.m. Monday in North Carolina.

The assault happened September 15 inside a home on the 7400 block of Devon Street in the city's East Mount Airy neighborhood.

Police say Downing entered the victim's home through an unlocked door while screaming for help.

Downing allegedly demanded money from the woman and then attacked her when she refused.

Zyree Downing

"When the victim refused, the offender punched her in the head and back multiple times and began choking her," police said in a news release.

Downing is then accused of forcing the woman to take her clothes off and sexually assaulting her.