Lincoln police arrest man for sexually assaulting & kidnapping 12-year-old
Investigators are now looking into the possibility of there being additional victims
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln Police Department is seeking potential victims of assault at the hands of a man they arrested Sunday, 59-year-old Mensah Gozo. He’s accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in what appears to be a random attack.
Assistant Chief Jason Stille said the investigation began when the girl was reported missing from the area of 1st and Cornhusker around 10 a.m. Sunday morning, only to be returned to the area a few hours later, reportedly by Gozo. Asst. Chief Stille said when they learned the girl was dropped off by a man they don’t believe she knows, they started asking more questions.
“Based on that line of questioning it lead us to believe the 12-year-old was transported someplace else in the city, was harmed and ultimately we determine Gozo took her to his home, subjected her to sexual contact and penetration and returned her to the area of her home,” Asst. Chief Stille said.
Police said they arrested Gozo without incident later that day. He’s been charged with one count of sexual assault of a child and one count of child enticement. Officers said at this time, they don’t know if there are any other victims.
“It’s hard to wrap our mind around an event as a parent,” Asst. Chief Stille said, “This is quite possibly the worst thing that can happen you find your child missing and realize they’ve been harmed. Based on how things unfolded it’s a possibility this could be a one off isolated event but there’s also the possibility that exists that it could have happened in the past.”
Officers are speaking out now, in an effort to encourage any additional victims to come forward with information. As far as approaching this topic with children, Asst. Chief Stille said to start the conversations early.
“It really does start before the event you need to have an open dialogue with your kids is what to do if someone approaches you, who you can talk to and if something happens to them and keep that open dialogue,” Asst. Chief Stille said.
Gozo is being held in the Lancaster County Jail on a one million dollar bond. He’ll appear in court again August 31. Police said while they don’t have any specific concerns moving forward, there are precautions parents can take.
“I don’t have any ongoing concern but I am always concerned for the safety of my children and I’m sure other parents are as well,” Asst. Chief Stille said, “So just safety measures you can take, making sure you have the ability to contact your children, knowing where they’re at, who they’re with are all very important.”
Anyone with information is asked to call (402) 441-6000 or Lincoln Crime Stoppers at (402) 475-3600.
Resources for Survivors
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, you can report it to the anonymous Child Abuse Hotline by calling (800) 652-1999.
- Voices of Hope 24-Hour Crisis Line - (402) 475-7273
- National Sexual Assault Hotline - 1-800-656-4673
- End Sexual and Domestic Violence - (402) 476-6256
- Child Advocacy Center - (402) 476-3200
- HopkeSpoke - (402) 475-7666
Copyright 2022 KOLN. All rights reserved.