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A 22-year-old man has been arrested over the brutal attack and rape of a woman in Nelson on New Year's Day.
The 62-year-old woman was bashed and sexually assaulted in a community garden in the Victory area of Nelson as she worked alone, in an attack police described as "cowardly and prolonged".
Police arrested a Nelson man this morning after his DNA allegedly matched evidence gathered at the scene.
Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge said the man was already on the police suspect list.
He was remanded in custody and would appear in Nelson District Court later today on a number of charges including kidnapping and sexual violation.
The victim was relieved to hear the news, Mr Langridge said.
"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."
Nelson Bays Area Commander Inspector Steve Greally congratulated the investigation team for their work.
Police would now be focusing on the prosecution phase of the investigation, he said.