Young tourist identified as sexual assault victim

A YOUNG woman living in Cairns on a work visa has been offered counselling and support after a teenage boy allegedly assaulted and tried to rape her in a terrifying random attack.

The 26-year-old European woman was walking home from a night out when police alleged she was approached by a 14-year-old boy and sexually assaulted behind a business on McLeod St about 1.45am on Saturday.

The entire incident was allegedly captured on a CCTV camera belonging to the business.

Police have alleged the boy ripped the woman's clothing off and made "very clear" what his intent was before she was able to fight him off.

The area on McLeod St near where the 26 year old woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 14 year old boy. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
The area on McLeod St near where the 26 year old woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 14 year old boy. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

She fled and passing motorists came to the aid of the screaming, distressed woman.

Far North police Det Acting Insp Jason Smith described the incident and the age of the alleged culprit as "disturbing".

He said the woman had been living and working in Cairns for about two years.

"Understandably she was very upset and distressed by this," he said.

"This was a violent attack and she's very lucky indeed.

"She was able to retaliate and use force against this (alleged) offender and actually strike him back and prevent his attack on her.

"I'm pleased she was able to do that because had she not used such resistance, perhaps he would have been able to fulfil his intent."

Det Acting Insp Jason Smith gives details of a sexual assault on a 26 year old woman, which occurred on Saturday on McLeod St. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Det Acting Insp Jason Smith gives details of a sexual assault on a 26 year old woman, which occurred on Saturday on McLeod St. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

The woman suffered minor physical injuries to her arms and legs.

Det Acting Insp Smith said it was believed at this stage to have been a random, opportunistic attack with no suggestion the boy had been following the woman beforehand.

He said investigations were ongoing but it is alleged he somehow lured her to a secluded area behind the business away from the street and assaulted her.

Police launched a major investigation following the incident and the boy was taken into custody by detectives conducting patrols of the immediate area on Sunday.

He was charged with assault with intent to rape, attempted rape, and sexual assault and will appear before the Cairns Children's Court.

Det Acting Insp Smith said the quality CCTV was key to their investigation.



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