Five boys have been arrested as detectives continue to investigate an alleged sexual assault of a teenage girl in Newark.
The incident is believed to have taken place in an alleyway off St Mary’s Memorial Gardens at around 9pm on Thursday, December 28, 2023.
Four boys aged 16 and another aged 14 were arrested on suspicion of rape.
Nottinghamshire Police made a direct appeal for potential key witnesses to come forward this week.
Detectives want to speak to a man who spoke to the victim while she was sat on a bench in front of the Boyes store in Appleton Gate, Newark, at around 8.35pm on the night of the incident.
Police said it is believed he also spoke to a group of people who had approached the victim before he walked off towards Barnby Gate.
Detective Inspector Stuart Barson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We’re treating this incident extremely seriously and we are continuing to pursue multiple lines of inquiry, including trawling through CCTV footage and forensics.
“To assist us with our ongoing investigation, we want to speak to a man who spoke to the victim while she was sat on a bench earlier that night.
“I am keen to stress he is not a suspect, but he may be a witness who has key information which could assist our investigation. I am appealing for him to please come forward and speak to us as soon as possible. It’s not too late for him to contact us.
“The victim and her family continue to be supported by specially trained officers.
"From the extensive inquiries we have completed so far, we have interviewed five suspects in connection with our investigation and we are following multiple lines of inquiry, including CCTV and forensics, in this case.”
Anyone with information that may assist the investigation should contact Nottinghamshire Police by calling 101 and quoting incident number 666 of December 28, 2023.
Alternatively, information can be reported through the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.