A woman sexually assaulted on a Melbourne train during morning peak hour said she doesn’t feel safe catching public transport after a “creep” sexually assaulted her, then stalked her after she reached her stop.
Jill Perrett was allegedly assaulted by the man after both boarded a packed city-bound train at Thornbury, north of the city, on May 16, just after 9.30am.
The 49-year-old was standing up, holding a rail, when she said the man began touching the back of her leg and pressing up against her. She moved away from the offender several times during the ride but he continued to stalk and touch her.
“At first I thought ‘It was a crowded train’ but by the time we reached Clifton Hill I was very aware he was touching me on the back of the leg.
“He was behind me and touching me just under my buttocks, my leg and rubbing and pressing up against my back,” she told reporters on Friday.
“I tried to move within the crowd to let him know I wasn’t happy about him.”
When Ms Perrett found a seat, the man followed her and sat directly opposite, continuing to touch her leg.
The woman got off at Flagstaff and when he did too, she confronted him about following her.
“He made some comment about giving me a lap dance, or something along those lines,” she said.
Even as she got on the escalators, the “creepy” offender got on an adjacent escalator, staring at her as they went.
“It just kept escalating until I was actually quite terrified. That’s when I called Triple-0.. I was quite afraid,” Ms Perrett said.
On reaching the concourse, Ms Perrett alerted train staff and called police, but the offender fled.
The woman said she has been too afraid to take the train since the incident, and was compelled to speak out saying: “I don’t think women should feel like this.
“[It was] terrifying. This was the middle of the day. I was really shocked,” she said.
“Especially over the last week, enough’s enough.
“Any behaviour to women, any time of the day, anywhere, that’s not acceptable. We’ve got to call out these creeps.”
Ms Perrett’s comments come after the rape and murder of Melbourne woman Eurydice Dixon, whose body was found in a Carlton reserve last week, sparking national outrage and a debate about gender-based violence.
Police released footage of the offender and urged him to hand himself in.
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“I’d certainly describe his actions as being very confident,” transit safety division Detective Senior Constable Andrew Paulet said.
“This was peak hour on the train, there was quite a few of people around.”
The man is believed to be of Islander or Asian appearance, aged 20-25, about 160cm tall, medium build with a thin moustache.
He was wearing a navy New York Yankees baseball cap, navy baseball style jacket with white sleeves and beige pants.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.