Father of twins accused of snatching girl
THE man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a little girl after her mother briefly lost sight of her in a Queensland Kmart is the father of twin girls.
The seven-year-old girl was shopping with her mum at Westfield North Lakes, north of Brisbane, when she was allegedly taken by the 26-year-old man, who cannot be identified, for more than an hour.
It's alleged the man had spoken to the girl before managing to coax her away from her mother and out of the shopping centre.
Police were called by the mother and began investigating.
After viewing CCTV of the shopping centre they were able to identify the man from Morayfield.
After an hour and a half, the man allegedly returned the girl to the shopping centre.
Police allege, in the hour she was missing, the man drove her to bushland at nearby Pumicestone Passage where he sexually assaulted her.
Detectives from Pine Rivers Child Protection Investigation Unit arrested the man last night.
The alleged abduction and sexual assault was the subject of a Facebook post on Sunday.
The North Lakes local wrote the post in a community group of more than 24,000 members.
"The mum was looking at something and the child was bringing toys to her mum to show her which ones she wanted for Christmas," the woman wrote.
"Then all of a sudden she stopped coming back so mum looked and she was gone. They searched and called police.
"Please please please do not leave children even for a second... This is way too close to home for me. I am always out with the two kids and would be a perfect target when I get distracted by one child and the other doesn't have my attention."
The man has been charged with taking a child for immoral purposes, deprivation of liberty and indecent treatment of a child under 12.
The charges were mentioned in the Pine Rivers Magistrate Court this morning, but the court was closed to the media.
The case was adjourned until tomorrow morning.
Detective Superintendent Fleming said he was proud of the dedication and hard work of police in apprehending this person and putting him before the court.
"My thanks also extend to Westfield North Lakes staff for their cooperation and support to police in this investigation," he said.
"Crimes in circumstances such as this are not common, but it is a timely reminder that a very small number of people could take advantage of an opportunity to harm a child.
Children should be free to enjoy themselves, but it is important that we maintain appropriate vigilance of them and our surrounds."