• Mon
  • Jul 14, 2014
  • Updated: 8:55am

Women warned after rape and sexual assault

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 July, 2012, 12:00am

Police have warned women to be alert and stepped up patrols in Mong Kok after a rape and a sexual assault were carried out within 500 metres of each other early yesterday.

The rape of a 22-year-old woman and the assault on a 23-year-old, who had her mouth covered with a chemical-soaked towel before being molested, were reported within 25 minutes of each other. Police are investigating whether the two crimes are linked.

Crime squad officers are examining surveillance camera tapes from shops and buildings as they attempt to work out whether the same assailant was behind both attacks.

The rape was reported at 4.40am, when the victim sought help from a security guard at the Sun Hing Building in Nathan Road.

'The victim was dragged into an alley where she was raped,' the officer said.

Police say the attacker is thought to be aged about 30 and is about 1.6 metres tall with short hair.

The indecent assault took place on the staircase of a block of flats in Soy Street as the victim returned home from work at about 4.15am.

'She was attacked from behind by a man who placed a towel on her mouth and nose and molested her,' a police officer said. 'He ran downstairs when she struggled.'

Police said the attacker escaped leaving behind the towel, thought to have been soaked in chloroform.

'The towel released a strong, acidic smell,' the officer said. 'It has been taken to a government laboratory to test whether it was soaked with chloroform or other chemical.'

The attacker is described as 1.6 to 1.7 metres tall, aged 30 to 40, with short hair. He wore a white shirt and light-coloured shorts.

Detectives from the Mong Kok district crime squads are investigating. Extra patrols are being mounted and police have appealed to women to stay on the alert while going out and returning home late at night.

Another attack was reported in Hoi Wang Road, Mong Kok, at about 7am when a 44-year-old woman was molested. She bit the suspect's hand before he escaped. Officers mounted a search and arrested a 24-year-old man.

Police said the suspect, a psychiatric patient, was not linked to the other two cases. On Monday night, police arrested an 18-year-old schoolboy on suspicion of molesting a seven-year-old girl in Mong Kok. The girl was indecently assaulted while using a lift in Hoi Fu Court, Hoi Wang Road, on Friday night.

Police figures show cases of indecent assault increased by five per cent to 310 in the first three months of the year from 295 in the same period last year.

There were 1,415 cases of indecent assault in the whole of last year.

Reports of rape dropped to 22 in the first three months of the year from 27 in the same period last year.

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