CLEVELAND-- The Cleveland Division of Police is trying to identify an intruder who forced his way into an east side home and attempted to sexually assault a 7-year-old girl in her bedroom.
The attack happened just before 2 a.m. Tuesday on Caine Avenue.
"I heard my daughter scream. She said that somebody was ripping her panties off. 'He's trying to rape me, somebody is in here, he's ripping my panties off, he's trying to rape me.' And she screamed 'Mom' real loud at the top of her lungs," the victim's mother told FOX 8 News.
The woman said when she ran into her daughter's bedroom, she saw the man climbing out the window. The prowler pushed in a window air conditioner to gain access to the home.
"My daughter said that he was a light-skinned man. He had a beard and he had a mustache. He had on all black. The hoodie felt like it was cotton. He had on a ski mask that he rolled up, and he was talking to her, telling her to call him 'Daddy,'" she said.
The victim's mother said she believes the intruder is the same man she caught looking in the windows of the home last Wednesday morning.
“He had his face pressed up against the screen and he was looking at me, and when I said, 'What are you looking at, can you get away from my window?' he never moved. So I went into the other room and when I pulled the curtain back, he was standing up against the tree with a white T-shirt on and I called the police,” she said.
But when officers arrived that morning, the “Peeping Tom” was gone, only to return Tuesday morning and force his way into her daughter's bedroom.
The child's mother said she is grateful that her daughter screamed for help.
"She was very brave about the situation. She cried but she explained her story and I feel I’m raising a strong little girl because I already warned her about people like this in the world,” she said. "And he has to be stopped, because he feels comfortable, which probably means he's never been caught or he's been doing it for a long time."