Police are investigating the abduction and assault on a 12-year-old girl at Taree.
They are appealing for public assistance following reports the girl was sexually touched after being taken from the backyard of a home in Taree on Wednesday, August 7.
About 6.30am Wednesday, police were called to a home in Telopea Drive after a resident reported a child from the neighbourhood had arrived at the home.
A short time later, the 12-year-old girl was reported missing by her mother.
Police took her home and were told she was grabbed from behind while she was in the backyard of her home, taken to nearby bushland and sexually touched by an unknown man, earlier that morning.
Detectives from the State Crime Command's Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad and Manning/Great Lakes Police District commenced an investigation.
Crime scenes were established at the home and in bushland in Telopea Drive, which have been examined by specialist forensic officers.
Detectives say they want to speak to a man who they believe can assist with their inquiries. He is described only as wearing a hooded jumper.
Investigators are also appealing for anyone who was in the area or may have dashcam footage around Mudford Street and Telopea Drive between 5.30am and 6.30am on Wednesday to contact Taree Police Station on 02 6552 0399 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
The girl is currently in the care of family.
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.
Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.
Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Police say people should not report crime information via Facebook and Twitter pages.
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