A teen who allegedly raped a seven-year-old Tennant Creek girl has been arrested after “actively avoiding police”, the NT Police said, three days after the incident occurred.
The serious sexual assault was apparently reported to NT Police last Thursday, but police said they were unable to speak to the child at the time which delayed the investigation.
They did not make the public aware of the incident until Sunday evening.
“The child was flown to Alice Springs for some medical procedures, so we hadn’t actually had any opportunities to speak to that child,” Cmdr Martin Dole told the ABC.
“We didn’t have sufficient information to notify exactly what had occurred, so we wanted to wait until we had an opportunity to interview that child.”
A statement released Sunday evening said that police had conducted an interview with the girl on Sunday morning.
A statement this morning said Tennant Creek police located and arrested the 16-year-old male on Sunday night.
He was expected to be charged today but the charges were not disclosed.
Police said the teen was “known to the girl” and told the ABC the two were related.
It was the second rape of a child in a remote NT town within three days.
The NT Independent revealed on Sunday that a child believed to be between eight and 12-years-old was allegedly raped early Saturday in Gunyangara – also known as Ski Beach – in East Arnhem Land.
NT Police only disclosed that the suspect – a man in his 40s – had been arrested in relation to the assault after being questioned by the NT Independent.
The police media unit has continued to face criticism for failing to report serious sexual assaults to the public in a timely manner.