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Winnipeg man arrested after “terrifying” attack on 12-year-old girl at hotel pool

RCMP are investigating an incident that took place at a Portage la Prairie hotel pool.
RCMP are investigating an incident that took place at a Portage la Prairie hotel pool. The Canadian Press

A Winnipeg man has been arrested and faces multiple charges, including sexual interference and forcible confinement, after an incident at a hotel pool in Portage la Prairie involving a 12-year-old girl, police said.

Portage RCMP said they were called to the hotel Saturday evening, and their investigation determined the girl was in the pool with a group of other youths when an adult man tried to start a conversation.

At one point, police said, the man grabbed the girl, pulled her toward him, and refused to let her go. She was eventually able to swim away to safety, and told an adult, who called police.

Read more: Winnipeg man charged in child sexual assaults dating back decades

“For any 12-year-old girl, just being grabbed when you don’t want to be is obviously terrifying,” Cpl. Julie Courchaine said.

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“I think it’s every parent’s worst nightmare to have something like this happen to their child.”

The suspect, 28, was arrested shortly afterward and faces multiple charges — with an additional charge of sexual assault also being considered. Since the charges have yet to be formally laid, the RCMP isn’t releasing his name.

Police said he was released and will appear in Portage la Prairie court on Nov. 10.

“These types of incidents can happen very quickly. It’s so important for parents to talk their kids about what to do if this happens,” said Cpl. Courchaine.

“In this instance, the young girl did everything right, she got away, sought safety and immediately informed a trusted adult. Her actions ensured that our officers could quickly make an arrest.”

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