Police investigate attack on 16-year-old girl at church

| May 7, 2010

Tinley Park police are looking for a man who was in a hallway of Trinity Lutheran Church shortly before a 16-year-old girl said she was sexually assaulted Sunday morning.

The girl, who was at the church, 6850 W. 159th St., during Sunday school to help her mother, said someone pushed her into a vacant room and sexually assaulted her, police said.

While she couldn't say it was the man from the hallway who attacked her, police want to talk to him.

"We want to talk to him in connection to it," police Cmdr. Patrick McCain said. "He passed her in the hall prior to this occurring."

He is described as a white man, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, with blue-gray eyes, a medium build and light brown hair with gray at the temples, police said.

McCain said the man could be a possible suspect or a witness. He was not anyone the girl recognized, police said.

The Rev. Richard Schauer, associate pastor of the church, said Thursday afternoon that the church was aware of the investigation.

"We're fully cooperating with Tinley Park police," Schauer said.

He said he did not know of anyone matching the description of the man in the hallway.

He declined to comment on whether the church, which also operates an elementary school, was taking action to quell any fears of its members after the reported attack.

The girl told police the attack took place about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, but she did not report it to police until Wednesday, police said. The girl was not taken to the hospital, McCain said.

Schauer said he was also notified of the incident Wednesday.

"We're taking a very strong look at it," McCain said.

Anyone with information should call Tinley Park police at (708) 444-5368.



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Category: Church Security

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