LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- A young girl shown on video being sexually assaulted was raped while in the care of a baby sitter her mother hired, the mother's attorney said Tuesday.
Chester Arthur Stiles, 37, of Nevada is being sought as a suspect in the videotaped rape of a young girl.
The mother did not know her daughter had ever been victimized and was apparently oblivious to efforts to find her until last Friday, Jerry T. Donohue said.
"A family friend called her and said, 'My God, you need to turn on the TV. I believe that is your daughter,'" he said.
Donohue said the mother recognized the suspect, Chester Arthur Stiles, 37, a former animal trainer.
The abuse most likely occurred while the mother - a single woman working six days a week - was at work, Donohue said.
The attorney said he knows who the baby sitter is, but would not release that information because of the ongoing investigation.
Earlier, officials had said the girl, who is now 7, was 3-years-old at the time the video was made. But Donohue said Tuesday, "To my understanding, the abuse occurred before she was 3 years old."
The mother of the girl asked that the news media leave the family alone.
"I want to ask you, the press, to respect my family's privacy and to not attempt to contact my daughter or myself," the mother said in a written statement read by her attorney. Watch Donohue read the mother's statement »
The mother also said she is cooperating with investigators and that her daughter "is safe and healthy."
The girl's videotaped rape set off a nationwide search last week. She was found Friday with family in Las Vegas, Nevada, after thousands of tips poured in.
Professionals have since evaluated her and she appears to be "healthy and fine and happy," the lawyer said.
The lawyer said neither he nor the mother has watched the videotape.
Asked whether the mother is thankful to the news media for having published the girl's picture so that authorities were able to identify her, Donohue said, "Not really ... there's some things maybe you don't want to know."
Still, he said, he hopes the man in the tape is brought to justice.
"Speaking as a father myself, I wish the guy would dig a hole in the desert and put a gun in his mouth," he said, referring to such an outcome as "Wild-West justice."
Meanwhile, the intense manhunt for Stiles continued Tuesday.
On Monday, Stiles' former girlfriend, Tina Allen, told CNN she thinks she is the reason Stiles came in contact with the girl and is "mortified" by the allegations against him.
Allen said she and Stiles were in an on-again, off-again relationship for 10 years until recently, when she called it off.
"He said he'd been in the Navy and, you know, I was looking for a strong guy to represent to my sons what I thought they needed to be," Allen said.
Allen said she took Stiles to a crowded apartment where her son and daughter lived. Also living in the apartment were a family friend and her daughter, who allegedly was victimized by Stiles.
"I'm disgusted. I'm ashamed, embarrassed, mortified," Allen said of the alleged rape. "I regret every, every step I ever took, I feel bad for the baby."
The FBI is also seeking Stiles, a resident of Pahrump, Nevada, in a separate matter involving state charges of sexual assault and lewdness with a minor under the age of 14. Pahrump is about 60 miles west of Las Vegas.
A man who said he found the tape in the desert and held it for at least five months before handing it over to authorities turned himself in Sunday to Nye County officials.
Darren Tuck, a Nevada resident who allegedly showed the tape to others before giving it to police, faces charges of exhibiting pornography and possession of child pornography. E-mail to a friend