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Police Investigate 4-year old's Claim of Sex Abuse
DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI-TV)Des Moines police said they are investigating a suspected sexual assault of a 4-year-old child.
Police said the alleged assault happened near 5528 Meredith Drive about 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. They said the 4-year-old girl and her 6-year-old brother were playing outside of the Westchester Square Apartments.
Its just terrible, said Sharene Culp, a resident of Westchester Square Apartments.
The child said the assault happened near a tree line behind some garages. The child then ran home and reported the crime to her mother.
Ive seen kids out and about playing soccer, doing what kids do during the summer, but I would never imagine someone would do that, especially outdoors, said Emily Ewi, who also lives in the apartment complex.
Police said the childs mother was inside an apartment while her children were playing outside.
They got into an area that wasnt very visible, said Sgt. Jason Halifax of the Des Moines Police Department. The suspect approached the 4-year-old gal, led her away to a location that was further away from her apartment building to a tree line behind a set of garages.
Halifax said parents should be hyper-sensitive about watching their children in the summertime.
Youve got a large number of kids around, he said. So even if you think you may be able to hear your kids, you might not be able to with other kids, ambient noise.
He said Thursdays incident is an example of why its never too early for parents to speak with their children about stranger danger.
If strangers approach them, try to speak with them, the kids should immediately leave. Go back to their safety, go back to their parents, go back to their apartment, Halifax said.
Police said the child reported the person involved was an adult black man wearing a white shirt and green and black shorts
Anyone who may have seen an individual wearing similar clothes in the area of the apartments at 5528 Meredith Drive or 5423 Aurora Avenue is asked to contact Des Moines Detective Kelly at 515-283-1589 or The Polk County Crime Stoppers anonymously at 515-223-1400.