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Alleged Central Park Rapist David Mitchell Pleads Not Guilty

David Mitchell is accused of raping a 73-year-old woman in Central Park. He appeared in court on Sept. 14, 2012. (credit: CBS 2)

David Mitchell is accused of raping a 73-year-old woman in Central Park. He appeared in court on Sept. 14, 2012. (credit: CBS 2)

corn_feature Irene Cornell
Irene Cornell has been a reporter at WCBS for 40 years, and she still...
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The man accused of raping a woman in Central Park has pleaded not guilty.

As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reports, the indictment charging David Albert Mitchell, 42, with the rape of the 73-year-old photographer and bird watcher, also charges Mitchell with sexual abuse. He allegedly groped two other women on the Upper East Side on the very same day.

WCBS 880′s Irene Cornell reports


Mitchell is further charged with pulling a knife and threatening to stab a man he with whom he had argued, also in Central Park.

Mitchell told detectives he is homeless, and lives in the park.

The attack occurred about a week after she photographed him exposing himself and masturbating, prosecutors said.

The attack on the 73-year-old woman happened in the middle of the day on Sept. 12, near the Strawberry Fields section of the park off 72nd Street. Mitchell allegedly stole the victim’s backpack and camera before pushing her down into some mulch and raping her, police said.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said of the rape that while any sexual assault is unacceptable, this attack in broad daylight in a public place makes it particularly shocking.

Authorities in West Virginia have said Mitchell has been in and out of prison since he was 18. He was arrested twice on charges of raping elderly women, suspected but not charged in the slaying of one female neighbor and acquitted of killing another.