Detectives from the Sexual Crime Squad are hoping the announcement of a $500,000 reward today will help solve a vicious sexual assault in North Melbourne in 2013.
For the first time investigators are also releasing images of the brutal injuries the victim suffered during the attack.
She has also chosen to be identified as she makes a plea for information alongside police to coincide with the reward announcement.
The then-23-year-old woman was walking along King Street on 30 June, 2013 when she was approached by a man near the intersection of La Trobe Street.
He walked alongside the woman, following her up King Street, along Victoria Street and into Chetwynd Street.
As the woman passed Browns Lane, the man grabbed her in a bear-hug and dragged her approximately five metres down the lane.
He then punched her several times to the head and knocked her to the ground, kicking her to the head before sexually assaulting her.
The man was last seen running south down Chetwynd Street.
An information caravan was set up at the scene in July 2013 and police handed out flyers along King Street and at local Nightrider bus stops and train stations.
However no one has been charged with the sexual assault and investigators are hoping the announcement of a reward will help bring them the information they need.
Detective Acting Superintendent Steve Wilson said there are people in the community who know who is responsible for this attack.
“We have a victim who was brutally assaulted, both sexually and physically, and is probably very lucky to still be here with us today,” he said.
“I’d ask people to look at the photos we’re releasing, listen to what she is saying about the impact it’s had on her – then ask themselves if they’re comfortable living with the information they might have about who is responsible for this crime.
“Would you be happy for this to happen to your daughter or sister or friend, and then have no one held accountable for it?
“We absolutely believe there are people out there who know who is responsible for this assault.
“If you have information, it doesn’t matter how minor you might think it is, we want you to come forward and speak to police.
“We are desperate to give this victim some closure and ensure she receives the justice she fully deserves.”
Police previously released the following description of the offender in the past, and are again urging anyone who was in the area on the night and may have seen something to contact them.
The offender is described as being of either Asian or Indian sub-continental appearance, medium build with short, black cropped hair and unshaven with stubble.
He was wearing a black top, blue jeans and an open leather jacket.
Detectives are also re-releasing CCTV which shows the man walking along King Street.
For the first time in more than a decade Crime Stoppers Victoria (CSV) is today releasing a re-enactment of the night of the attack in an effort to help solve this crime.
CSV CEO Erika Owens said she hoped the re-enactment might trigger the memory of someone who was in the area around the time of the attack, who may have witnessed something suspicious.
“Crime Stoppers Victoria is today urging the community to review the re-enactment we’re releasing and anyone with any information should report it to Crime Stoppers confidentially on 1800 333 000 or via our website at crimestoppersvic.com.au,” she said.
“The victim should have been free to go about her evening without harm or fear of harm, yet through no fault of her own she was subject to the most heinous attack and has been suffering both the physical and emotional consequences of that attack ever since.
“There is no piece of information too big or too small and anything you tell us will be passed to police in the strictest confidence if you wish.
“The person responsible for this abhorrent crime must be held accountable for their actions. Anything you know could help to solve this crime and give the victim the justice she undoubtedly deserves.”
A reward of up to $500,000 will be paid at the discretion of the Chief Commissioner of Police for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person or persons responsible for the sexual assault.
In appropriate cases, the Director of Public Prosecutions may consider, according to established guidelines, the granting of indemnification from prosecution to any person who provides information as to the identity of the principal offender or offenders in this matter.
Any payment of a reward will be subject to the applicant signing a deed of confidentiality prior to payment.
Investigators are seeking public assistance to help solve this sexual assault and are appealing directly to anybody with knowledge of this crime and of those responsible to come forward and contact police.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au
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