November 11, 2011 / 10:31 PM / 7 years ago

Teen arrested for rape of 5-year-old in McDonald's play area

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A 13-year-old boy has been arrested for the rape of a 5-year-old girl at a McDonald’s Playland in southern Ohio, police said Friday.

The assault allegedly occurred on October 29 in Anderson Township, near Cincinnati. The 5-year-old old was visiting the restaurant with her grandmother and playing in the Playland area at the time of the alleged attack.

After investigating the complaint, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday released a photo of the suspect from the McDonald’s camera to the news media, according to Lieutenant Michael L. Hartzler, a district commander.

The next day, the boy and his parents came into his department for an interview. Hartzler will not disclose what was said in the interview, but the juvenile was taken into custody.

He doesn’t know whether the suspect will be tried as an adult. “Ultimately that will be decided by a juvenile court judge,” Hartzler said.

In a statement, the owner of the McDonald’s, Judson Pickard said, “The safety and well-being of my customers, especially children, is extremely important. As a parent myself, I was very upset to learn about this situation. I’m taking this matter very seriously and fully cooperating with authorities in their investigation.”

“Obviously this is something we don’t like to see,” Lt. Hartzler said. “We tell parents don’t take your eyes off your kids.”

The suspect is awaiting arraignment in the Hamilton Juvenile Detention Center.

Writing and reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Tim Gaynor

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