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FCPD: Man sexually assaulted girl in Burke, may be linked to more cases

Police are investigating assaults against minors that occurred in September around trails in the Burke area (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) Fairfax County police believe a single man may be responsible for a series of assaults on minors in the Burke area.

A 65-year-old Burke man has been arrested and charged with sexual battery of a minor in connection to an incident that occurred on Sept. 7, the Fairfax County Police Department announced today (Monday).

According to police, a juvenile girl reported that “an unknown man approached her, grabbed her wrist, and groped” her chest while she was walking on the Wards Grove path near the 5800 block of Poppy Court around 6:30 p.m.

“The victim was able to run away and call the police,” the FCPD said in a news release.

Major Crimes Bureau detectives assigned to the case developed a composite sketch of the possible suspect on Sept. 14 and canvassed the area “looking for additional leads,” police said.

“During the canvass, additional incidents involving the suspect were reported to police, including an assault against a minor and an additional instance of sexual battery against a minor,” the FCPD said.

While canvassing, police say officers saw a man who matched the suspect’s description. Detectives interviewed him and learned that he often uses the trails around Burke Commons Road and Roberts Parkway, prompting them to make an arrest.

So far, the man has only been charged with the Sept. 7 case, but detectives are still investigating his possible connection to other reported cases in the area, according to the FCPD.

“Our dedicated detectives are working closely with the community to identify any additional incidents that may have occurred,” an FCPD spokesperson said. “We understand the importance of gathering all necessary evidence and conducting thorough interviews with all victims involved.”

The police department is asking anyone who may have been a victim or have additional information to contact its detectives at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be sent anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.