COLUMBIA — Police have arrested a 20-year-old Columbia man they say sexually assaulted his 3-year-old niece.
On Aug. 4, according to Columbia Police Department spokeswoman Jill Wieneke, the child was being baby-sat at her grandmother's house, where her uncle, Justin Tyler Lane, 20, also lived. When the girl's mother came to pick her up, Wieneke said, she complained of pain and said Lane hurt her.
The mother immediately took the child to University Hospital for examination, Wieneke said, where doctors said she had been sexually assaulted.
"The mother did the right thing," Wieneke said. "When the child said something went wrong, she took her to the hospital right away."
A detective interviewed the child on Wednesday, and police arrested Lane on Friday.
As of Sunday morning, Lane was being held in the Boone County Jail on suspicion of statutory rape. Bond was set at $500,000.
Investigators found no evidence that he was experiencing any mental illness, Wieneke said. Lane was neither in school nor employed, she said. The Boone County Jail listed Lane as homeless.
Wieneke said the child did not suffer serious injuries, but that therapy might be needed.