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12-year-old girl sexually assaulted in abandoned home owned by City of Milwaukee

Posted at 10:27 PM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 12:11:40-05

Milwaukee Police confirm a 12-year-old girl was sexually assaulted inside an abandoned, boarded-up home on North 27th Street, between Burleigh and Chambers.

It happened last Friday around 9:30 a.m. They're still looking for a "known suspect."

Neighbors say it's a crime that should have never happened. 

"The city is hiring contractors to clean up these houses, and they're not doing their job," said Juan Guzman, who lives next door. "I want it demolished. It's about time it's torn down."

Guzman says he's filed hundreds of complaints about the house over the past four years. The house was taken over by the city of Milwaukee five years ago. The city confirms they've received at least 50 complaints from Guzman, for things like trash, and unsecured doors and windows.

"I bug them non-stop," Guzman said. "Even if I work a 12 to 14 hour day, I call on my lunch break or before work. I make it a priority. There's feces, garbage, criminal activity. It's a mess."

Guzman's frustration is magnified after finding out a girl, only a few years older than his daughter, was dragged inside the house and attacked.

"Now I'm more weary than ever," he said. "It's not fair to this community. I don't know what would happen to me if something happened to my kids. I wouldn't even want to think about that."

Jeff Fleming, spokesman for Milwaukee's Department of City Development says on Nov. 2, city inspectors drove by and reported that the house needed to be re-secured.  Outside contractors were alerted to take care of it. Fleming says on Nov. 13 the city got a message from the contractor saying the property was demolished, and sent a photo.

But the photo was of an empty lot across the street from the house. No one picked up on the miscommunication, until after the sexual assault was reported.

Fleming says the city is looking into how exactly the miscommunication happened, and reviewing how to improve the whole system so nothing like this ever happens. The city is in charge of more than 1,000 abandoned homes.