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man arrested in attack on girl, 8, at philadelphia library

the associated press
2/9/2004, 3:31 a.m. et

philadelphia (ap) � a homeless man was charged sunday with sexually assaulting and critically injuring an 8-year-old girl in the bathroom of a center city library, police said.

brian mccutcheon, 23, was arrested after he allegedly told a friend about the attack and the friend notified police. he was charged with attempted murder, rape and aggravated assault.

the girl, who had been visiting the library's independence branch with her grandmother, was attacked in a library bathroom around 4:30 p.m. saturday, authorities said. she was found unconscious, wedged between the toilet and the wall, police said.

other library patrons and the nine employees on duty were unaware of the attack, authorities said. still unknown is how the assailant got into the bathroom, which is supposed to be locked until visitors get a key from the front desk, officials said.

the victim remained in critical condition at children's hospital of philadelphia on sunday night, but police said she had regained consciousness and was improving.

the suspect was held in police custody with an arraignment scheduled for thursday. it was unclear whether he had an attorney.

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