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Texas police probe runaway girl's charges of kidnap, assault

By Sharon Bernstein

(Reuters) - Police in Lubbock, Texas, on Sunday were investigating a runaway teenager's charge that she was held captive for six weeks and sexually assaulted by several men.

The girl, whose name was not released, ran away from her home in the West Texas city of Amarillo and met up with one of the men, Lubbock Police Captain Jon Caspell said.

It was not clear, Caspell said, whether she went with the man willingly to Lubbock, about 125 miles away. But once there, her claims that he assaulted her and kept her against her will appear to be valid, Caspell said.

"We believe we have strong evidence that she has been sexually assaulted probably multiple times because of this abduction," Caspell said.

No one has been arrested in the case, but two men have been brought in for questioning and another was detained on an unrelated warrant, Caspell said.

The girl, who is under the age of 16, told police she managed to escape from where she was being held by climbing out of a window on Friday. She told police she then ran to a nearby McDonald's and phoned them.

On Saturday afternoon, the girl led police to the house where she had been held. Her account also raised concerns that there might be another victim, Caspell said, so police are investigating that possibility, as well.

The girl remains in protective care, and police have contacted her mother.

Kidnapping and aggravated assault charges could be filed against one or more of the men questioned in the case as soon as Monday, Caspell said.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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