- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

OREM, Utah (AP) - Police are seeking the public’s help in finding a male suspect who they said sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl while she was walking to an Orem school.

The incident happened a little before 8 a.m. Wednesday, while the girl was walking alone to Cherry Hill Elementary School, police said.

The suspect forced the girl to a secluded area of a nearby church parking lot, assaulted her and then left, according to Orem police Lt. Craig Martinez.

The girl ran to the school and immediately reported the incident to a teacher, officers said. School officials called the police.

“She’s very distraught,” Martinez said, according to the Deseret News. “We need to get this guy off the street.”

Police urged anyone with information about the incident to contact them.

The suspect is described as a male in his late teens or early 20s, wearing a gray hoodie, dark baseball hat and tennis shoes. The girl had been wearing a pink coat and light blue jeans.

An email was sent out to parents of children at the school Wednesday afternoon, saying school officials had added extra supervisors on the playground and during the after-school period in light of the incident. School officials urged parents to have their children walk to and from school in groups for added safety.

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