KEARNS — Police are looking for a man who is said to have sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl while she was playing in her own backyard.
The child told her mother that while she was playing outside on the evening of July 5, a man jumped over the fence and touched her inappropriately. She said he then jumped back over the fence, got into an orange car, and drove away.
The girl had been playing with her 8-year-old cousin, who had just gone inside to use the restroom, police said. When the man first approached the 5-year-old, he told her that he was her father, but the girl knew he was lying, the child's mother said.
Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray said police are taking the investigation very seriously, as it appears the assault did in fact happen.
"This is not someone we want on the streets," Gray said. "Someone that's willing to go into someone's yard and touch a child that is someone we definitely need off the streets."
The only identifying information police have is that the man had facial hair and drove away in an orange car, Gray said.
Although the incident was reported more than a week ago, police waited to release information publicly because of the complicated process for interviewing children, Gray said.
Since the incident, the girl's mother said, she no longer feels safe.
"It can happen anywhere, it can happen any time," the girl's mother said. "It can happen any place — in your own fenced-in backyard in the middle of the day, in a five-minute time span."