19-year-old arrested for 2016 sexual assault of a 5-year-old at St. Paul bus stop

St. Paul police say they have arrested a 19-year-old man in connection to a sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl in 2016. 

Police say the 19-year-old, who they are not identifying since he was 13 at the time of the alleged crime, was taken into custody by law enforcement without incident in Illinois on Monday. 

Friday the Ramsey County Attorney's Office said it has filed a delinquency petition against the suspect that includes one count of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and one count of kidnapping. This petition is necessary as without it state law prohibits charging anyone under the age of 14 with a crime. 

The assault in question occurred in May of 2016. Police say a bus driver called them to the area of Cook Avenue and Park Street after they found the victim crying and bleeding from her face. The victim was taken to the hospital where an examination determined she had been sexually assaulted. 

As authorities continued the investigation in the years that followed the incident, they eventually discovered a match in the National DNA Index System in December 2021.  

"This case is an example of why we never give up or stop working on behalf of victims," St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said in a release. "I am beyond grateful for the exhaustive investigative work by dozens and dozens of dedicated law enforcement professionals who kept working and working and working."

The suspect is currently in the St. Clair County Jail awaiting extradition.