– Random sexually motivated attacks have sparked fears about predators targeting women walking alone on the street.
Two attacks on the same day last week, both involving opportunistic attacks, have police worried about increasingly violent assaults on our streets.
A woman, dragged from Swanston Street yesterday and sexually abused on Melbourne University’s city campus, labelled her attacker “pathetic”.
The other attack, in Canterbury, is believed to be a serial sex predator who targets women getting off public transport.
Police believe he has struck eight times in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs since August 3rd, with other attacks occurring in Lower Templestowe, Doncaster, Box Hill, Balwyn North and Camberwell.
The 21-year-old, attacked as she walked along Swanston Street, said she had been left “spooked out” by the assault. She had been at a nightspot in the city on Sunday, November 25th, leaving at 3 am, intoxicated and looking for the NightRider bus to take her home.
But she said a wrong turn led her towards Parkville, where she was attacked and too afraid to scream when two women walked past the bushes where she was dragged by the stranger and into a garden bed near Masson Road about 3 am.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was punched to the abdomen after she pleaded with him to let her go.
Police are hopeful CCTV footage of the attacker walking beside the woman will lead to a breakthrough.
Police want a man wearing a suit, who may have seen part of the assault, to come forward.
Detective Senior Constable Heidi Edmond said that women should avoid walking alone.
She said police considered it to be an isolated incident.
Detective Inspector Paul Binyon said police were increasingly alarmed about the string of assaults that had left women on high alert after the Riversdale Road attack.
Detective Inspector Binyon said there was strong evidence to suggest the sexually motivated attacks could also become more violent.
The offender is described as of Asian appearance, aged in his 20s, slim, about 178 cm tall. The Swanston Street attacker was also described as being of Asian appearance, about 165cm tall and of medium build – Anthony Dowsley