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Woman Fled Sex Attacker During Floods

A WOMAN who was sexually assaulted during last week's storms escaped her attacker by running through waist-deep floodwaters in Melbourne.
Police inspector Tony Cecchin said the 20-year-old woman was abducted when a man forced his way into her car in Market Street, South Melbourne, about 3.15am (AEDT) last Thursday. The man threatened her with a weapon and forced her to drive to the Brunswick area, where he repeatedly assaulted her in the car.
The woman was then forced to return to South Melbourne.
She escaped in Tope Street shortly before 6.45am, at the height of the storm that lashed Melbourne that morning.
At one stage the woman fled through flood water, Insp Cecchin said.
"(The attack) did go on for some hours and it was certainly quite traumatic for the individual involved," he said.
"At one stage she tells investigators she found herself in waist-deep water and that exacerbated her situation at the time ... after the attack, after she managed to escape and, in fact, elude the offender."
"She didn't sustain permanent injuries but certainly it has had a major psychological impact as you can imagine."
Insp Cecchin said he could not identify the weapon used in the attack, but said the victim feared for her life.
The car was examined for forensic evidence, he said.
Police have released an image of the attacker.
He is described as being in his early 30s with straight black hair, three thin orange streaks in his fringe, brown eyes, an olive complexion and a thin face and build.
He had a blackened front left tooth, was clean shaven and wore a black fleecy windcheater and blue jeans.
Police believe the man may have been near the Crown Casino, South Melbourne and Southbank between Tuesday and Thursday last week.
Insp Cecchin said police believe the attack was an isolated incident...Crime Stoppers-1800 333 000.

AAP (7-2-2005)


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