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Girl, 15, raped in her home

hue.ha@gwinnettdailypost.com

STONE MOUNTAIN - Police continue to look for a man who beat and raped a Stone Mountain teen Wednesday.

Police said the 15-year-old victim returned home from school Wednesday about 3 p.m. when she was violently attacked at her Stone Mountain home.

Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney said preliminary investigations indicate a man was waiting for the teen inside her home on Lakebrooke Run.

The man bound the teen, sexually and physically assaulted her, and then fled, Moloney said.

"She was bound and incapacitated in a way where she could not give us an in-depth description of the offender," Moloney said. "She couldn't see his face."

After defeating the restraints and calling for help, the teen was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center where, Moloney said, she is expected to survive injuries believed to be from blunt force trauma.

"We don't know if they are from the offender's hands or from some sort of blunt device," Moloney said.

The girl's attacker is described as a large black man wearing a black ski mask and red shirt, Moloney said.

"At this stage in the investigation we're looking for forensic evidence both from the surrounding area, house and the victim," Moloney said. "That information will need to be processed and things like that can take time. But right now we have no concrete leads."

Moloney said this was the first rape but not the only occurrence of crime and assault in the neighborhood.

"Since about November of last year the neighborhood has noticed an unfortunate, steady increase of property crime, burglary and recently, person assaults," Moloney said.

The rather secluded, older neighborhood near U.S. Highway 78, Moloney said, is not a high traffic area. Moloney was unsure if the residents had a homeowners association or neighborhood watch program in place to deter crime.

Moloney said police patrolling in the area has increased due to the increase in incidents.

"We've been out there canvassing the area. ... One to try to locate the suspect and two to put the neighborhood on notice of what's been happening," Moloney said.

Residents said their working-class neighborhood, called East Parke, has been peaceful until recently.

"We are angry about this. This is about our children, our future," said Sharmin Ali, who has lived in in East Parke for 10 years. "I never used to lock my doors. Now I have to take my keys with me everywhere."

Harin Bhatt, another resident, noted that children are not playing outside in the afternoon fearing crime.

Bhatt, sitting on the lawn of his neighbor's house said there have been several home invasions in the neighborhood, and that neighbors are describing the same assailant.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the attack to call Gwinnett County police at 770-513-5300.