List of suspects after girl indecently assaulted
Police investigating the indecent assault on a seven-year-old Mt Maunganui girl have compiled a long list of suspects.
Detective Sergeant Darryl Brazier said police were also looking at whether the crime was linked to another assault in the same area more than a year ago.
"We are also reviewing that to see if there is any correlation between the two and possibly whether it is the same offender," he said.
Police believed a man entered an Oceanview Rd house overnight on September 4, and indecently assaulted the seven-year-old girl in the bedroom she shared with her younger sister.
The mother was sleeping in another room during the time, and found out about the incident when she woke up.
The girl gave a detail description of the offender. He was wearing a blue jacket with white stripes and knee high shorts with a Maori design down both sides and had black running shoes.
He is in his 30s and Maori with hair spiked up in the middle and short everywhere else. The man also had an earring in his left ear.
Brazier said the offender was "obviously very confident" to enter a house in the middle of the night, not knowing who was home.
"We want to find this guy because of what he has done, and so it doesn't happen again."
He said the facts around the latest incident were similar to the indecent assault on a teenager 18 months ago, including the time of day and method of entry.
With the help of the public, police had also put together a nominated list of suspects of more than 20 people.
The list included convicted offenders and paedophiles in the area.
"We are also clearly appealing to the public because someone out there must know who this offender is. Someone hopefully has missed this person," Brazier said.
He said the seven-year-old girl and her family had moved out of their house to another property in Mt Maunganui.
"They are obviously getting counselling and victim support.
"The seven-year-old is coping remarkably well. She is a very, intelligent young girl and she is dealing with it appropriately," he said.