Girl sexually assaulted on way to school in Lancaster, officials say
Police were searching Friday for a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl as she walked to school in Lancaster.
Moments before the attack at about 6:15 a.m. Thursday, the girl told deputies, she noticed the suspect was following her, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. The student crossed the street, as did the suspect, who then grabbed and dragged her into bushes on the south side of the 200 block of East Avenue J-8, where he attacked her, the Sheriff’s Department reported.
After the assault, officials said, the suspect fled on foot toward 20th Street East. The girl went to a nearby home and contacted Lancaster authorities. She was later treated and released from a local hospital.
"Our community is absolutely appalled that someone would perpetrate such a heinous act. We do not tolerate such crimes here in the Antelope Valley," Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said in a statement. "There is a $5,000 reward for the apprehension of the criminal responsible."
"Lancaster station will be increasing uniformed patrol presence to ensure a safe passage for kids to and from school," said Capt. Bob Jonsen of the Lancaster sheriff's station. "We are combining our investigative resources with that of Special Victims Bureau to apprehend the suspect as quickly as possible."
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Sheriff's Department Special Victims Bureau at 877-710-5273 or SpecialVictims@lasd.org. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous can call 800-222-8477, text the letters TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 or visit lacrimestoppers.org.
-- Adolfo Flores
Image: An map shows in black the approximate location of an alleged sexual assault in Lancaster. Credit: Los Angeles Times Mapping L.A.