‘It changed me’: Teen who was dragged into an alley and assaulted by a stranger had to leave uni because she was so traumatised – as police release image of her alleged attacker
- A woman in her late teens was sexually assaulted in Melbourne on June 9, 2018
- Man grabbed the woman and locked her behind gates before assaulting her
- Police have offered a $500,000 reward and possible indemnity for information
- She has since spoken out and said she had to quit university after the attack
Published: 22:47 EDT, 18 June 2019 | Updated: 22:49 EDT, 18 June 2019
A teenager who was sexually assaulted by a stranger after he dragged her into an alley has spoken out about her ordeal.
The 18-year-old woman – who has chosen the pseudonym Amy to protect her identity – was attacked while walking along Flinders Street in Melbourne’s CBD at 1.45am on June 9, 2018.
Police ramped up the search by offering a $500,000 reward for information about the alleged offender, prompting Amy to speak out for the first time.
‘It had a very big effect on my life,’ Amy said.
‘At first, I was just fully in denial but it ended up making things more difficult for myself.’
Officers from the Sexual Crimes Squad on Tuesday made the decision to re-release footage of the man (pictured) wanted for questioning in the hope that someone may recognise him
Amy was forced to stop attending university as she dealt with the trauma and found herself unable to focus on studies.
‘It left me more scared in general… more cautious, less trusting and always on edge,’ she said.
‘I was never scared of walking alone – I always felt quite confident but it definitely changed me and my relationship to myself in a lot of ways.’
Officers from the Sexual Crimes Squad on Tuesday made the decision to re-release footage of the man wanted for questioning in the hope that someone may recognise him.
The man, who is of African appearance, is shown wearing a black puffy jacket with red lining, light blue jeans and white runners.
He allegedly approached the teen as she walked past a bar situated below a hostel between Elizabeth Street and Degraves Street.
He is alleged to have then placed his arm around her shoulders and neck and attempted conversation as they walked toward Swanston Street.
The man who was pictured is of African appearance, and was wearing a black puffy jacket with red lining, light blue jeans and white runners
The 18-year-old woman – who has chosen the name Amy to protect her identity – was attacked while walking along Flinders Street in Melbourne’s CBD at 1.45am on June 9, 2018
As the pair approached Metro tunnel works that were taking place, the man pulled Amy to him and kissed her.
She attempted to fight him off but the man dragged the victim into an alleyway behind high metal gates, locked them, and then sexually assaulted her.
The teenager screamed and managed to get away through gates onto Flinders Street.
Police believe witnesses would have seen her running from the scene due to the high density of people in the area.
Three men walking nearby noticed the distressed woman and helped her get in touch with a friend and organise a ride home. She did not tell the men she had been assaulted, police said.
Police are also hoping to get in touch with the good Samaritans who helped her.
They said one had already contacted police, but they’re hoping the two others will come forward as well.
In addition to the $500,000 reward police have now offered for information, they have indicated there may be a possibility of indemnity for people who come forward
Detective Inspector Steve Wilson said ‘there is absolutely no doubt that this assault has had an enormous and detrimental impact on this victim’s life.
‘She was only an 18-year-old teenager at the time and this attack had significant negative effect on her university studies and day-to-day life.
‘To have something like this happen to one of the most vulnerable members of our community is just devastating, and we are doing absolutely everything we can to find who is responsible and bring them to justice.’
In addition to the $500,000 reward police have now offered for information, they have indicated there may be a possibility of indemnity for people who come forward.
‘In appropriate cases, the Director of Public Prosecutions may consider granting indemnification from prosecution to any person who provides information as to the identity of the principal offender or offenders in this matter,’ a statement read.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at http://www.crimestoppers.com.au.