Man arrested over alleged rape of schoolgirl
A MAN is in custody after an 11-year-old girl was allegedly abducted in broad daylight from a park and raped in a horrific five hour ordeal, near Newcastle in NSW.
The 47-year-old man was arrested during a vehicle stop in Hamilton just after midday and has been taken to Newcastle Police Station where he is expected to be charged later today.
The Year 6 schoolgirl told police she was walking through Hudson Park on Terrance Street, Adamstown Heights, when she was allegedly grabbed from behind and threatened by a man with a knife, sexually assaulted, and forced into a red car, just after 9.15am on Tuesday.
According to police, her attacker then drove her to bushland where she was sexually assaulted for several hours before being released at Kotara Railway Station just before 2.15pm - five hours after she was abducted.
Police were called when the girl walked 1.5km home and told her grandmother of the attack.
She was taken to John Hunter Hospital for medical examination and later released.
Earlier in the week, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Jacob, from the sex crimes squad, said the girl was doing "remarkably well" given what she endured.
"I am very thankful we have a very brave young woman who has been able to help us so valuably in our continuing inquiry," he said.
A parent of a friend of the girl told The Daily Telegraph the community would rally around the "quiet polite little girl" and her family.
"I saw her yesterday get into the ambulance … she was just so distraught," she said.
"It's horrible, it's devastating to think a child has been treated like that."
The newspaper reported a spokeswoman for the NSW Education Department did not answer questions about whether the family was notified when the girl didn't show up for school.
The NSW Department of Education provided a letter for schools to give to parents and Kotara South Public School principal Susan Maxworthy said stranger danger talks had taken place in classrooms and assemblies.
A crime scene was established at Hudson Park and forensically examined, according to police
Detectives from State Crime Command's Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad and Newcastle City Police District have established Strike Force Bradly to investigate the incident.
Earlier in the week, they scoured the area for CCTV, seeking dashcam footage and sifted through bushland next to Belair Public School for clues to catch the predator.
Police are urging anyone who was in the Adamstown Heights area or anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.