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Day-laborer sought in teen rape
Man suspected in assault on Snellville girl

SNELLVILLE - Police are scouring known pick-up areas for day-laborers in north Atlanta, looking for a man suspected of raping a Snellville girl, an official said Wednesday.

The man, who police have yet to identify, is suspected of forcing a 14-year-old girl into sex at a Splitwood Drive home where she was swimming July 17.

The girl lives next door to the home where the suspect was visiting his temporary employer, the owner of a construction business, said Snellville police Detective Damon Harper. The girl was walking from a backyard pool into the house when the man allegedly grabbed her, forced her into a basement and raped her, Harper said.

Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic male in his late teens or early 20s, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, between 160 and 175 pounds, with an athletic build. He was last seen wearing a white tank top, black jeans and black shoes. He wears jewelry in his right ear, police said.

Harper said the suspect goes by the nickname "Mime" (pronounced: "me may"), a term loosely translated as "mosquito" or "gnat," he said.

"It's kind of a derogatory term," Harper said.

The victim recently told a friend about the incident. That friend informed the victim's mother, who came forward to police, Harper said.

The girl was examined at the Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center and showed physical signs of forced sexual activity, but she was not otherwise injured, he said. Police have provided the girl with counseling services.

Investigators believe the suspect frequents an abandoned Home Depot - a popular pick-up point for laborers seeking temporary work - on Buford Highway near the Interstate 85/Ga. Highway 400 split.

Harper said the suspect's acquaintances in Snellville have not been forthright with police.

"What we're trying to do right now is get this guy identified," Harper said. "There's no reason to believe he lives in Gwinnett."

Harper said he's not aware that the suspect is wanted for any other crimes.

Police urge anyone with information to contact Snellville police Detective Damon Harper at 770-985-3568.