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A 12-year-old Cheektowaga girl was forced to undress at gunpoint, then was sodomized in a van parked at a supermarket parking lot late Wednesday, Depew police said Thursday.

Detective Lt. Vance Scioli said the girl thought she was being taken to a baby-sitting assignment arranged by telephone when a man picked her up at her home about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

"After she got inside the vehicle, he held a gun to her head and drove to the Tops parking lot at Broadway and Penora Street in Depew," where the attack occurred, Scioli said.

Scioli said that while the girl was being attacked, she could see and hear pedestrians and traffic outside the van.

"We are hoping that someone will remember seeing the vehicle or the man and the girl when it arrived or was parked at the lot between 9 and 10 Wednesday night," Scioli said.

Scioli said the girl remembered the vehicle had two captain's chairs in the front and nothing in the back. She described it as either white or silver "with a red stripe around the middle." It was believed to be a newer-model, full-sized van or suburban-type model.

The man was described as white, about 40 years old and with long hair, a full beard and mustache, and wearing black jeans. After the assault, the man drove the girl around the area for a while, then took her within several blocks of her home and let her out.

"He told her that he would kill her and her parents if she went to the police," Scioli said.

After she was freed, the girl walked to her home and told her parents what happened.

Police said the girl had put her phone number on the bulletin board of a William Street coin laundry to advertise her baby-sitting services.

"She received a call a couple of weeks ago from a woman who asked if she would baby-sit overnight," Scioli said. "The girl said she couldn't stay overnight and the woman told her to forget it."

On Wednesday night, the girl received a call from a man, who made reference to the call she had received from the woman. "He told her he would pick her up at her home and that he only needed her to baby-sit until midnight," Scioli said.

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