A university student was dragged into a vacant house and sexually assaulted in such a disturbing daylight attack that Victorian police are offering a $500,000 reward for help to convict him.
Police insist they won't give up on the traumatised victim and are certain they will solve the frightening crime that happened in Melbourne in January, 2014.
The then-21-year-old victim was on her way to university when a man dragged her off a footpath and into the bedroom of an abandoned home, tied her up and sexually assaulted her.
The daylight attack near a busy intersection in Burwood appears to be completely random although police believe the attacker knew the area well.
They believe it is "very relevant" to their investigation that he only spoke to his victim in Chinese Mandarin.
A Mandarin interpreter was present during Victoria Police's media conference on Thursday.
"It's a very, very disturbing set of circumstances and very frightening," Detective Inspector Stephen Wilson told reporters on Thursday.
The victim had been in Australia for only four months before the 15-minute attack. She was left to untie herself once the offender fled.
The woman has returned to her home in Asia and "is still very much traumatised by the whole event", Detective Inspector Wilson said.
"We will not give up on this man and we certainly got will not give up on the victim," Detective Inspector Wilson said.
He said the offender knew the area around the Burwood Highway and Station Street intersection and knew the house was empty.
Police fear he may have attacked other victims.
Information that leads to the arrest and subsequent conviction of the man could lead to a reward of up to $500,000.
"We will do everything we possibly can to identify him and bring him to justice," the detective said.
"This is a very solvable case, we just need to identify the person who it was."
DESCRIPTION OF OFFENDER
- told victim he was Malaysian, perceived to be of Asian appearance
- 35 to 45 years old
- wearing a brown jacket and tan-coloured pants
- spoke only in Mandarin