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West Fargo rape case investigators going through phone, computer records

WEST FARGO - Police investigating the reported rape of a 15-year-old West Fargo girl in her basement bedroom Thursday night are sifting through phone and computer records to see if there may be a connection to someone she'd been communicating with, Assistant Police Chief Mike Reitan said today.

He said police still have no suspects in the assault, which reportedly happened between 9:45 and 11 p.m. when the girl's parents weren't home.

Looking at phone records, including text messages, and computer records, including e-mails and chats, has become "pretty much standard practice" in such cases, Reitan said.

"There seems to be an availability of people out there that are texting, you know, trying to get hooked up with younger girls," he said. "Anytime either Fargo or us goes online with undercover investigations, it seems like it's just a matter of minutes and we're hooked up to somebody and we get an adult to come over and be arrested for luring a child. So we don't know if it's one of those cases or what's going on."

Police say the attacker reportedly entered the home through the unlocked front door, went downstairs to the girl's bedroom, assaulted her and left out the front door in an unknown direction. The girl's younger siblings were home at the time but not aware of the assault, which was reported in the 500 block of Ninth Avenue West.

The victim told police she didn't know her assailant, who was described as a white male, 6 feet tall, with dark brown hair, a beard and a blue tattoo and wearing a brown jacket and jeans.