Girl, 14, dragged to ground and raped in quiet lane as police hunt sex attacker

Police are hunting for a "heavily built" man who raped a schoolgirl on a quiet country lane in West Sussex.

The 14-year-old victim said her attacker dragged her to the ground on a track just off Okehurst Road near the town of Billingshurst before raping her.

Detectives described the suspect as a white man in his 30s, who is about 5ft 9ins tall.

He was said to be heavily built, wearing a disease prevention face mask and a navy blue beanie hat with a long dark zip-up coat.

The attacker then reportedly fled on foot after the incident.

In a statement, a spokesman for Sussex Police said: "The girl was walking along a lane off Okehurst Road, near Billingshurst, West Sussex, between 12.15pm and 1.15 pm on Monday, March 1 when she was attacked.

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"A white van which might have a slight dent in the bodywork, passed by during the attack and this may have disturbed the suspect.

"The girl has been supported by specially trained officers since the offence was reported on Saturday."

Detective Constable Jason Berney said: "We are making extensive inquiries.

"Anyone who was nearby last Monday and saw anything suspicious, or who can help us identify that white van or who thinks they may know this suspect, is asked to contact us by calling 101."

Police have reassured the public there have been no other reports of attacks on women or girls in the area recently.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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