The mum of a little girl who was kidnapped from a Kmart north of Brisbane and sexually assaulted has spoken for the first time.
Sterling Mervyn Free, a 27-year-old father of two daughters, lured the seven-year-old from the toy section at Westfield North Lakes last year to bushland where he molested her.
Free returned her to the Westfield an hour later.
Last week, he was jailed for eight years.
The girl’s mum noticed scratch marks on her neck after the assault but the child wouldn’t explain them. She also refused to tell police.
The mum of the girl told Nine News she’s concerned about how her daughter is processing what happened to her.
"She has some understanding of the gravity of this terrible crime, but at such a young age, she isn't equipped to process, talk about or deal with it,” she told Nine News.
"Day to day she is still mainly positive, however there are obvious negative effects that we see, and our real worry is for her future, and in how she might cope as she grows up reaching different milestones and gains a more mature understanding of what happened to her."
A GoFundMe page has been established to give the little girl a trust-fund. It has so far raised $2,000 towards its $20,000 target.
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