A 19-year-old man has been charged with raping a 66-year-old woman in a popular suburban park in Australia.
She was left with serious facial injuries after being dragged into bushes while walking along a river footpath just before 6am local time today.
The man was taken into custody at around midday and charged with two counts of rape and one count of assault with intent to commit rape in Cranbrook in Townsville, Queensland.
He has also been accused of punching a 51-year-old woman at a Rosslea address a few miles from the alleged rape scene at 3am today.
Senior Sergeant Scot Warrick had told reporters the “horrendous” dawn incident had left north Queensland police officers shocked, news.com.au reported.
The 66-year-old woman told officers a “large man” had grabbed her on the path before dragging her into bushland just as the sun was coming up.
“She’s been approached and assaulted by an unknown person from behind,” Sen Sgt Warrick said.
“She’s been dragged into bushland just off the walkway … and has been sexually assaulted.
“While certainly not elderly, she is a vulnerable person of some age … I think most people would be outraged.”
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He said the area was well frequented and he hoped the public may be able to assist as the only description police had of the attacker was a “large male person”.
“This is a pretty popular area this time of the morning for walkers and exercisers, and there would have been many people here this morning,” he said.
“I’m confident someone may have seen something or someone suspicious.”
The suspect, who is from Cranbrook but has not been named, is to appear at Townsville Magistrates Court tomorrow.
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