Police have arrested a 38-year-old man in relation to the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl last night.
Police have arrested a 38-year-old man in relation to the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl last night. Liana Turner

'VERY TRAUMATIC': Man arrested over sexual assault of girl

POLICE have charged a 38-year-old Lismore man with a number of serious alleged serious offences including the aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.

Detective Acting Superintendent Cameron Lindsay, Richmond Police District Commander said the 38-year-old was arrested yesterday and a search warrant executed at a Lismore property.

Det Insp Lindsay said the alleged assault of the 12-year-old girl took place in bushland near the CBD.

"He approached a 12-year-old girl in Lismore and later assaulted the same 12-year-old bushland off Molesworth St near the rowing club," he said.

"The 12-year-old girl has subsequently received medical treatment and counselling regarding this very traumatic event."

Det Insp Lindsay said the arrest was the result of "a real team effort".

"Officers from Richmond Police District and the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad worked overnight and into today," he said.

"We were extremely concerned by a very serious assault of this nature on a young girl near a main street in Lismore.

"We are obviously very pleased to have made an arrest in a very short time-frame.

"After the search warrant was executed we will allege we have seized a number items now from the property which is now evidence we will put towards court.

The man was taken to Lismore Police Station and charged with five counts of aggravated sex assault-victim under the age of 16 years, aggravated sexual assault-inflict actual bodily harm on victim, common assault and intentionally touch child aged between 10-16 years.

He was refused bail to appear at Lismore Local Court today.

The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate matters against children and adults, including sexual assault, serious physical abuse, and extreme cases of neglect.

The assault is a harsh reminder to parents about keeping their children safe, Det Insp Lindsay said.

"We encourage parents to know where their children are at all times," he said.

"And we encourage young girls to be particularly careful about where they go at night."