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Secret Police-
Sex Attack Withheld From Public Again

EIGHTEEN days after two teenage girls were assaulted at knifepoint, police have publicly released details of the terrifying attack.
Despite increasing police patrols in the area since the October 21 attack, police did not issue any warnings or alert the community to the possible dangers.
Police Commissioner Mal Hyde yesterday admitted that police should have told the public.
The two 14-year-olds were attacked by a man under an overpass at Elizabeth Rd, Christies Beach, about 11am. The overpass area is a meeting place for students and near a path used daily by parents coming to collect their children from school.
The man, armed with a small black-handled kitchen knife, ordered both girls to undress before trying to pull their clothes off as they attempted to flee.
The girls say they fear the man will strike again, after they saw him walk past the school the next day.
Yesterday's delayed release of information follows heavy criticism of police for failing to release details of sexual assaults, in particular the rape of a boy, 14, at the Myer Centre in Adelaide on June 21.
There was also a delay in releasing information on four sexual assaults on women in the Torrens Linear Park in July 2003.
In the same month, police withheld information about the sexual assault of a 15-year old girl in a Port Noarlunga park for seven weeks.
One of the victims of the Christies Beach attack said yesterday, "I could hear my friend scream and I was screaming out 'help' and my friend's name.
"He had her by the throat, or had the knife at her throat, and was trying to pull her pants down."
One girl escaped and ran to the Christies Beach High School, called police and alerted school officials.
The public was only informed of the attack yesterday when police called for public assistance to identify the attacker. Police released a composite image of the man, as described by his teenage victims.
Sergeant Steve Atkinson, of South Coast CIB, said police did not inform the public - even the nearby Christies Beach High School and Christie Downs Primary School communities - because there was "no risk". However, he admitted that police were concerned and had increased patrols.
The grandmother of one teenager said yesterday that police were "slack" and should have warned others of a potential sexual predator in the area. "There should have been a warning," the woman told The Advertiser yesterday. "Other girls need to be warned and I think it's pretty slack by both the school and the police that no one was warned straight away." Sgt Atkinson said that police were considering a number of lines of inquiry.
"At this time, there have been no other reports of incidents in the South Coast Local Service Area," Sgt Atkinson said.
"We believe it's a one-off situation and in our dealings with the witnesses we have certainly followed a number of lines of inquiry which have proved to not be able to locate the offender." None of the parents or students approached by The Adveztiser yesterday were aware of the incident. "If we're told straight away, there's more chance of the person being caught and it's so close to the schools, the kids and the parents would be more wary," said one resident, who was walking to collect her seven-year-old daughter from school.
The man police are hunting is described as aged about 30, of medium height and build. He had light brown with ginger streaked hair and beard, a piercing in his left eyebrow and at the time of the attack, was wearing a green baseball cap.
Anyone with any information should contact Crime Stoppers-1800 333 000.

Adelaide Advertiser (9-11-2004)
Sam Riches

Identikit of suspect


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