Hunt continues for hooded stranger accused of assaulting 12-year-old girl in Invercargill

Police hunting a hooded man who allegedly assaulted a 12-year-old girl walking in Invercargill last week, leaving her traumatised, say he had reportedly been in the same area previously.

Police have today released further details of the incident near Iona Street on the morning of Monday, February 4.

Detective Sergeant Marc McCloy said the girl was walking in the Iona Street area between 8am and 8.30am when she was approached by an unknown man who assaulted her before fleeing the area.

Police are looking for sightings of the man, who was wearing black shoes, dark or black jeans and a black hoodie with the hood up and dark wraparound sunglasses.

The man appeared to be a smoker and reportedly had been in the area on previous occasions, Mr McCloy said.

“The young girl is understandably traumatised and we are working hard to support her and her family during this very difficult time,” he said.

“This is a disturbing incident and I want to assure the community we are doing everything we can and we have a team of detectives working on this case. 

“I know the public will share our concern about this incident and I want to reassure the community that we have increased patrols in the area and are taking this very seriously."

Police are urging anyone who may have information or may have been in this area over the last few weeks to get in touch if they haven’t already.

Anyone who has information is urged to contact Mr McCloy on 03 217 1655. Anonymous information can also be given to  Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Map shows the Iona Street area in Invercargill where the 12-year-old girl was assaulted. Source: Google Maps