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Rape Suspect Has Long History of Mental Illness

303 East Eighth StreetDaniel Maurer The alleged rape occurred outside of 303 East Eighth Street.

The 51-year-old accused of the brutal and brazen rape of a woman on Eighth Street on Saturday morning spent seven years being shuffled between city jails and state mental health institutions.

Neal Essex, who was scheduled to appear in criminal court today, spent a total of 1,350 days behind bars over the course of seven separate jail bids; all of which were related to a second-degree murder charge in 1984 (The Local was unable to confirm the victim or verdict in the case, but The New York Post reported that Mr. Essex was accused of killing his mother.) Despite all the jail time, Mr. Essex did not end up serving time in the New York prison system, according to a Department of Correctional Services spokeswoman. And, until the alleged rape, he had not been to jail or prison since 1991. Read more…

The Day | More Details on Eighth Street Rape

The Bean on BroadwayScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

Some new details about the rape that occurred on East Eighth Street on Saturday morning: DNAinfo finds out that the victim didn’t know her alleged attacker, 51-year-old Neal Essex, and the Post discovers he was previously arrested for allegedly killing his mother in 1984.

Jeremiah’s Vanishing notices a “for sale” sign indicating that playwright, poet and performance artist Edgar Oliver no longer lives at the townhouse at 104 East 10th Street that inspired his one-man show, “East 10th Street: Self Portrait With Empty House.”

Off The Grid takes a look at the history of Third Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets. The block was once home to Sig Klein’s Fat Men’s Shop, which counted Babe Ruth as a customer, and is still home to New York Central Art Supply, which opened in 1905. Read more…