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Girl, 9, abducted, sexually assaulted

A nine-year-old girl was taken from her home in Grand Bahama and sexually assaulted, according to police.

Shortly before 6 a.m. on Monday, the father of the child went to check his daughter’s bedroom and discovered that she was missing, police reported.

The man reported to police that he immediately checked the inside and outside of his home but could not locate his daughter.

He then checked his surveillance camera and saw an unknown slim, dark-skinned man, who was shirtless and wearing long jeans, entering the home and leaving with his daughter.

Police said the control room received a report about the incident shortly before 7 a.m.

As a result, according to police, officers were sent to investigate. The officers conducted a search and found the child walking in the area of South Bahamia, police reported.

According to police, the girl said that the man sexually assaulted her while she was not home.

Police said a man was later arrested.

The man, who is expected to be arraigned in the Magistrates’ Court later this week, is assisting with the investigation and other matters, police said.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Theophilus Cunningham, who has oversight of Grand Bahama and the northern Bahamas, expressed concern over the incident.

“We are concerned about all matters of a sexual nature,” Cunningham said.

“We are very concerned. We do our endeavor best to ensure that proper investigations are carried out. Where the evidence substantiates the allegations, then we will place these individuals before the courts where necessary.”

Cunningham said there is no indication of a trend kidnapping and sexual assault of children on the island.

Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe described the incident as “troubling” and said anyone who would abduct and sexually assault a child is “very, very disordered”.

“The incoming commissioner (Clayton Fernander) has indicated a consideration for sending a team or teams of officers up there, but it’s a vexing problem,” he said.

“I think that’s the third or fourth incident of sexual [assault] in Grand Bahama (in recent times). The others were adult women but it’s still troubling.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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