Police: Man assaulted girl in store

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— A 26-year-old Steamboat Springs man was arrested Monday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child at a Steamboat Springs business Sunday.

Steamboat Springs police Det. Jerry Stabile said the man was arrested on suspicion of enticing a child, unlawful sexual contact and sexual assault on a child while he was working as a construction worker on a local job site.

Stabile said the man attempted to lure an underage girl away from her friend and her friend's mother while the trio shopped at a business in the 1800 block of Central Park Drive on Sunday. The man is accused of inappropriately touching, he said.

Stabile would not say whether the man lured the girl into a private area of the store or if the alleged incident occurred in view of other people.

Stabile said the girl's friend saw the man follow the girl around the store.

"Because the incident is still under investigation, and because we'd like to protect the identity of the victim, I can only say there was unlawful, and probably unwanted, touching," he said.

The girl reportedly told her friend's mother what had happened. The mother then contacted the girls' parents and alerted authorities to the incident Sunday, he said.

After checking the store's security tapes, police identified the man and arrested him at the job site Monday, Stabile said.

The man appeared in Routt County Court on Tuesday. His bond was set at $10,000.

- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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