Geraldton Detectives asked community members to continue their excellent response to police appeals for information to help apprehend a sexual predator who struck at Rangeway on the weekend.
A 15 year old girl had snuck out to meet a friend when she was grabbed, taken into bushland opposite a row of houses and sexually assaulted around 2am on Saturday.
The attack made an 18-year old woman living opposite realise her regular evening strolls outside her childhood home were no longer safe.
Investigating officer Acting Det. Sgt Tom Grieve said they had “lines of inquiry” but were yet to make an arrest.
“We’ve got a team of six detectives following up on all those leads, some of which have flown up from Perth,” he said.
Acting Sgt Grieve said the victim was not engaged in anything sinister when the attack occurred.
“It was just typical teenage behaviour, she just snuck out of her house to meet a friend,” he said.
Acting Sgt Grieve said the girl had been walking north along Blencowe Road, crossed Utakarra Road, and continued along a dark section of Blencowe Road beside bushland when the attacker grabbed her.
He said he understood the girl was “travelling well”.
“She is being cared for by her family and coping well, she has been given various referrals to support her in terms of counselling if indeed she wants it,” he said.
“She is a resident of Rangeway and her family are local people.”
Danielle Radford, 18, lives in the section of Blencowe Road where the attack occurred.
She said they had heard their four dogs barking during the night but they often barked at quarrelling strangers as they walked past.
Ms Radford said the street was very dark as the lamp opposite her home had not worked for about five years.
City of Geraldton mayor Shane Van Styn said the attack had rocked the close-knit community in Rangeway.
Police said the attacker was dark-skinned and was wearing an Adidas shirt.
They urged anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestopperswa.com.au.