NEW CASTLE, Ind. (WISH) - A 19-year-old New Castle man was in jail Monday after police said he forced a small girl from an apartment playground and sexually assaulted her.
According to court documents filed Monday in Henry County, Caleb P. Cooper faces charges of criminal confinement and child molesting.
Kids from the apartment complex told police they were playing at the playground and Cooper was pushing them on the swings. They said he grabbed a 6-year-old girl by the wrist and pulled her up to his apartment to show her his new "kitty."
The kids, including the girl's brother, told police Cooper wouldn't let them in, and locked his doors. They said "they were afraid" for her and "started knocking on all the doors so someone would help her." A neighbor called police, who found the girl nude inside Cooper's apartment in a bedroom.
Police said they found a large folding knife on a table. The 6-year-old girl told police he'd kissed her and tried to have sex with her. She told police "Mr. Cooper tried to put his ‘bad stuff' in her ‘bad stuff.'"
Court documents then show Cooper told police, "I'm so stupid, I can't believe I got caught doing this again." He added, "Am I going to get into a lot of trouble for this? Because I want to talk to my girlfriend first."
Court documents also show he told police the 6-year-old "wanted to have sex with me. It was her idea." He said, "he had recently been on ‘parole' from an incident when he was 14 after ‘having sex with another kid.'"
Other people living nearby also spoke to 24-Hour News 8 after hearing about the incident.
"I can't imagine if something like that were to happen to my little boy," said Amanda Cole, of New Castle. "You never know, I mean, somebody could look just like you and I, and be a predator."
Neighbor David Craft says he'd just moved into the apartment a month ago.
"You go through a bunch of hoops to get in here; not sure how he could get in here. They do due diligence on checking you out. I had to fill out paperwork about two inches thick," said Craft. "I've got a 6-year-old granddaughter right now. I may be in jail the rest of my life if I'd got to the guy first."
24-Hour News 8 requested to speak with Cooper but didn't receive an immediate response.
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