TWO men arrested in connection with the sexual assault and robbery of a 12-year-old girl have been released without charge.

The men, aged 18 and 20, were arrested following the incident, which happened in the Hardwick area of Stockton on Tuesday October 23.

The girl had been walking home from school at around 4.20pm when she was approached by a man who rifled through her bag before sexually assaulting her near to Chadwick Walk.

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The assailant was described as being in his thirties with dark skin and an Asian appearance. He is of average build with a scar above one eyebrow and a large earring in one ear. He was wearing a black hoodie and black baseball cap at the time of the assault.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident, which has also been linked to two separate reports of young girls being approached by an Asian male travelling in a silver car.

On both occasions, the man asked the girls to get into his vehicle but drove away when they refused.