Esther Kang

Manhattan Beach police continue investigation on underage sexual assault inside park restroom [UPDATE]

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Police on Wednesday released a sketch of the suspect. Courtesy of MBPD

Police on Wednesday released a sketch of the suspect. Courtesy of MBPD

The Manhattan Beach Police Department is seeking the public’s help in finding a man suspected of sexually assaulting a minor inside a public restroom.

On Friday past 2 p.m., a boy walked alone into the men’s restroom at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach. According to police, the suspect forced him into a restroom stall and fondled his genitals. The victim fled the restroom and reported the incident to a parent.

The suspect is described as a white man in his 40s with tan skin and short straight hair, approximately 5-foot-8 tall with a medium build that is heavier around the midsection. He was last seen wearing a white shirt and dark-colored pants.

MBPD initially believed this incident may be related to a recent crime that occurred in Hermosa Beach on Wednesday. According to Hermosa Beach police, a 13-year-old boy was sexually assaulted in the Valley Park restroom.

On Tuesday night, HBPD issued a press release stating that the victim admitted to fabricating the entire sexual assault claim to police investigators. His motivation for lying is still under investigation, police said.

Sgt. Robert Higgins of HBPD added that the outcome of this investigation “has no bearing” on the Polliwog Park incident.

“With this in mind, parents are reminded to be vigilant in regards to their children’s safety at all times,” Higgins wrote.

Due to the sensitive nature of the crime involving a minor, MBPD is releasing no further information at this time. Anyone with information that could possibly be associated with these crimes, including suspicious persons or cars seen Friday afternoon, is urged to contact MBPD police Det. Traci Navarrette at 310-802-5125.

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