28 Dec 2011

Teenager arrested over Turangi attack

10:05 pm on 28 December 2011

A 16-year-old from Turangi has been arrested and charged with assaulting a young girl in a holiday park before Christmas.

The five-year-old girl was attacked on the night of Wednesday, 21 December in a caravan at Club Habitat Holiday Park in Turangi, sustaining significant injuries to her head and body.

Police say they became interested in the 16-year-old and negotiated him turning up at the Turangi police station on Wednesday afternoon.

He has been charged with sexual violation, aggravated wounding and burglary.

He will appear in the Taupo Youth Court at 2pm on Thursday.

The girl's family have been told of the arrest and have told police they are overwhelmed and relieved by the news that someone has been charged.

In a statement the family said: "We are very relieved at this news and want to thank the police, particularly those who gave up their precious time when they would usually be with their families. We can't thank them enough. They were meticulous, thorough and caring. They are a credit to New Zealand".

Police earlier announced that the Turangi community has raised $13,000 for the girl's family.

Responding the family said: "We know that what happened was a random act of evil and will never hold Turangi responsible for it. We feel and love their support tonight".