French police have arrested a Nigerian 'asylum seeker' in the kidnapping and sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl, according to reports.
The child, who is mentally disabled, went missing after going for a walk in the town of Roanne on Sunday morning.
Her parents reported her disappearance to local police, who attempted to track her down by locating her cell phone, which had been turned off.
After reviewing surveillance footage, authorities determined the girl had been seen talking to young African male before walking with him over a bridge leading towards a nearby town.
"The judicial police were called upon as well as a dog team. The dogs first spotted a trail," Actu 17 reports. "It was finally in a hotel in Coteau, a neighboring town, that the police found the girl at 1:20 am, after more than three hours of searching. She was in a room with the young man seen earlier on CCTV."
"The 19-year-old man, who is a Nigerian asylum seeker and a former unaccompanied minor, was arrested and taken into police custody."
Authorities say the girl was found partially naked and told officers she had been sexually assaulted.
The suspect refuted those accusations, claiming the child had initiated the physical contact.
An investigation has been launched and the Nigerian face charges of kidnapping, forcible confinement and sexual assault on a minor under 15 years old.
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