Four-Year-Old 'Sexually Assaulted': Teen Held

Sky News21 February 2013

A 13-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl at a children's play centre in Lancaster.

The girl told her parents the assault happened whilst she was playing at The Zone on Dalton Square between 12.30pm and 1.30pm on February 16, police said.

The boy has been released on bail while detectives continue their investigation.

Sky's Mike McCarthy said: "Given the nature of what’s alleged to have happened and the ages of the individuals concerned, police have described this as a very sensitive investigation."

Lancashire Police have appealed for information.

Detective Inspector Phil Jones, who is leading the investigation, said: "This is a very sensitive investigation and we are seeking the help of the public.

"I would ask the parents or relatives of any children who were at The Zone on Saturday between 12.30pm and 2pm to contact the police."

DI Jones said there was no suggestion that any other children had been victims or were potentially at risk.

"We do believe this to have been an isolated incident. However, we are seeking any witnesses that may have seen something suspicious or out of the ordinary.

"The young girl and her parents are currently being supported by specially trained officers and The Zone is fully cooperating with our investigation."

A statement from The Zone said: "We are deeply shocked at recent events. We do our utmost to provide a safe and secure environment for children to play in with their parents supervision.

"This incident was totally beyond our control and it could have happened anywhere. I want to reassure our regular customers that this was an isolated incident."

:: Anybody with any information can contact police on 101, quoting log number LC-20130216-1061, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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