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OFFICIALS SEEK RAPE WITNESSES.

Byline: CHARLES F. BOSTWICK Staff Writer

PALMDALE -- Detectives investigating the Aug. 29 rape of a 10-year-old girl who was dragged by a middle-aged man into an empty theater at the Antelope Valley Mall want to talk to every person who was inside the mall in the hours before and after the crime was committed.

Detectives asked anyone who was in the mall between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Aug. 29 to call them.

``They may not know that they saw something. That's up to our investigators to get that information out,'' Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Daniel Scott said.

People who were in the mall at that time are asked to call the Special Victims Bureau tip line at (866) 247-5877 and leave information on how detectives can contact them.

Detectives have been following more than 100 solid leads provided by citizens but have not arrested a suspect, Scott said.

The Palmdale City Council last week authorized a $10,000 reward, suggested by Councilman Steve Hofbauer. Los Angeles County supervisors also authorized a $10,000 reward.

At the mall, Hofbauer and other community members passed out Sheriff's Department fliers bearing an artist's sketch of the rapist.

The girl was in a Cinemark Movies 10 hallway about 1:30 p.m. Aug. 29 when a man accosted her, forcing her into an empty theater and verbally threatening her, deputies said. The rapist assaulted the girl behind the movie screen, then fled out a back door and left her in the theater.

The artist's sketch depicts a middle-age African-American man with short black hair and a graying mustache.

Detectives described the assailant as 35 to 45 years old, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing about 180 pounds. They said he wore a white T-shirt with an unknown logo and dark blue warm-up pants with white stripes down the legs.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

An artist's conception of the man who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl Aug. 29 at the Antelope Valley Mall.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 10, 2006
Words:339
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