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Woman sexually assaulted on walk to work

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A woman suffered a “very serious sexual assault” at knifepoint as she walked to work at the weekend.

The attack was understood to have been foiled by a passing jogger who called police.

Superintendent Nicholas Pedro said yesterday: “The 31-year-old victim was walking to work when she was accosted by a man described as about 5ft 10in and brown-skinned, riding a red motorcycle.

“It would appear that he rode past her and then rode back towards her and accosted her with a knife and forced himself on her and sexually assaulted her.

“Luckily, a male was in the area jogging and was able to, we think, disturb the assault in taking place and the suspect fled from the area north on Pitts Bay Road having left Fairylands Road.”

It is understood that the attacker may have worn a helmet with a tinted visor and the licence plate of his bike was thought to have been covered.

The attack happened on Fairylands Road near its junction with Pitts Bay Road in Pembroke at about 6.30am on Sunday.

It was thought the victim was pushed into a driveway or side road during the “random” attack.

Mr Pedro added: “I want to stress that this type of event is incredibly rare in Bermuda — where there is stranger sexual assault or stranger rape — but it is nonetheless very concerning for us and we are putting considerable resources into finding the offender.

“But we do need the community's help.”

He said: “We are aware that this was early in the morning, but some people may have been out, whether walking or going to work or exercising, and may have seen this individual riding a red motorcycle.”

Mr Pedro said the licence plate was covered at the time of the attack, but that “it may not have been just prior or just after, so we are interested in speaking to anyone who may have seen someone fitting this description in that area”.

Mr Pedro added that some residents and businesses close to where the incident happened had CCTV cameras and asked anyone with footage from the area at the time to contact the police's serious crime department.

He said: “We are actively giving support to the victim who is obviously very traumatised from this event.”

Mr Pedro added that the woman was treated at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital after the attack and confirmed she did not suffer knife injuries.

He said that “good advice ... on any given day” to stay safe included to be aware of surroundings, carry a mobile phone and “don't take any unnecessary risks if you're out there at that time of day”.

Mr Pedro added: “I appreciate 6.30am is not incredibly early. It is a normal time that people go to work, but I think we just have to be cognisant of our surroundings and take all necessary precautions.”

Anyone who can help the inquiry should contact the Bermuda Police Service crime division on 247-1340 or the main number 295-0011. The independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline is on 800-8477

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Published September 22, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated September 22, 2020 at 2:03 pm)

Woman sexually assaulted on walk to work

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