Police search for suspect in Bettsville sexual assault

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a sexual assault involving a 16-year-old girl reported Monday evening in Bettsville.

Deputy Justin Nowak of the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office said the girl, a Bettsville resident, was walking along the creek area in the village around 7 p.m. when a man, described as a white man in his late 30s or early 40s, approached her and groped her.

“She was able to fend him off before it got further,” Nowak said.

The girl used a stick to fend off the man while she contacted her father, Nowak said. The girl told deputies that when the man left, he drove off in a dark blue or dark green minivan.

Nowak said deputies still are searching for the man, who is described as average height and medium build with short, dark brown, wavy hair. He was wearing a red and white striped polo-type shirt with blue jeans. The blue jeans had a hole in one knee, and the girl could see that the man was wearing a black knee brace, Nowak said.

The girl also told deputies the man was walking with crutches, although it didn’t appear he needed them.

Nowak said the girl was not transported to a hospital.

He said deputies were assisted Monday night by the State Highway Patrol and the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office in an attempt to locate the suspect.

Anyone with information about the assault or the suspect should contact the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office at (419) 447-3456.