Portsmouth Police have made no arrests but claim to have identified a suspect in at least two sexual assaults which allegedly took place in the women’s restroom of a local grocery store Saturday afternoon.
According to police, a customer at the Gay Street Kroger location approached an employee on Saturday around 1:20 p.m. and claimed her juvenile daughter had been touched inappropriately by an unknown male who entered the female restroom of the business.
Upon receiving the complaint, store employees located the suspect and followed him in an attempt to learn his identity. They were ultimately unsuccessful as the male entered an awaiting minivan and left the scene before his name or the vehicle tag number could be obtained.
Investigators were able to recover surveillance video from the business showing the suspect entering the women’s restroom several times when no one was inside and shows the man pacing the hallway where the restrooms are located and entering again when one female juvenile went inside.
At the scene, two reports were taken from two juvenile female victims, both with similar complaints of inappropriate touching by a male suspect. The suspect was described as a white male wearing what appeared to be grey jogging pants and a blue short-sleeve T-shirt. He was accompanied by an older white female, and both left the scene in a tan Ford minivan.
On Monday, police identified that suspect as a 14-year-old male juvenile from Kentucky. Investigators from the Portsmouth Police Department contacted the suspect and his guardian. The suspect’s name was not released presumably due to his status as a juvenile. Officials said the case is being presented to the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office and the Scioto County Juvenile Court for the filing of possible charges.
On Monday, police did not say specifically what led them to the Kentucky juvenile as a suspect. In a prepared press release, police did say they “would like to extend our deepest appreciation to the local media and citizens who assisted in identifying the suspect.”
Anyone with additional information about this case is encouraged to contact Det. Timothy Stewart or Det. Steve Brewer at 740-354-1600 or through police dispatch at 740-353-4101. All calls can be kept confidential, according to police.
Portsmouth Daily Times reporter Ivy Potter contributed to this story.