Saratoga County

Man accused in Malta attack faces new charge

Tyler J. Gaston
Tyler J. Gaston

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A Clifton Park man arrested last Saturday for allegedly assaulting a female jogger on a recreation trail in Malta has been arrested in connection with a second attack, this one three days earlier in Saratoga Springs.

City police on Friday said that Tyler J. Gaston, 26, was arrested Thursday night at his residence in connection with a previously unsolved sexual assault in a city cemetery. He faces charges of first-degree sexual abuse (forcible compulsion), second-degree assault, and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.

City police said Gaston’s arrest by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday for a similar assault on a woman on the Zim Smith Trail north of Round Lake led them to suspect Gaston.

The Saratoga Springs assault occurred at about 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at Maplewood Cemetery, the small cemetery located at Weibel Avenue and Loudon Road. The cemetery is close to large commercial plazas that include a Hannaford supermarket and a Target discount store. City police said they interviewed a 22-year-old woman who reported she had been attacked by an unknown male while walking through the cemetery.

The woman said she was subjected to forced sexual contact. She suffered minor injuries, police said, but did not require medical treatment.

Police said they learned last Saturday that the Sheriff’s Department was investigating a similar incident. Sheriff’s investigators were aware of the open case in Saratoga Springs and contacted city investigators.

Gaston was arraigned in City Court and sent to the Saratoga County Jail in lieu of $40,000 cash bail or $80,000 bond.

In the Malta incident, Gaston was charged with second-degree assault and first-degree sexual abuse, both felonies. That attack also occurred in daylight, at about 4 p.m., on a section of the Zim Smith Trail near Ruhle Road South.

The victim in that incident suffered a facial injury that was treated by Malta-Stillwater EMS.

 “This heinous attack goes against the very fiber of who we are as a community,” Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said in a statement on the Malta arrest. “We are extremely hopeful that the victim makes a full recovery and that the suspect is held accountable for his actions to the fullest extent of the law.”

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