A teenage girl was set upon by a group of men as she walked through a Hawke's Bay park at the weekend, the latest in a string of sexually motivated attacks in the region.
The 16-year-old girl was walking through the northern side of Lochain Park in Flaxmere between 11pm and midnight on Friday when the group of three to four men attacked, dragging her among some trees.
Hastings police CIB Detective Robin Parker said though the girl was not seriously injured, she was traumatised after the frightening incident.
"Suffice to say the victim has gone through a significant traumatic event and is obviously trying to cope with this as best she can with the support of her family."
Mr Parker said the full details of the attack would not be known until after an interview with the girl today, but early details suggested the motive was sexual.
"Pending our interview with the victim, there is still a lot of information to be gathered from her," he said.
He hoped a scene examination completed at the central-Flaxmere park bordered by Hudson Rd, Cartier Cres and Amunsden Rd, on Saturday would lead to further lines of enquiry, and was appealing to the public for information.
The attack was the latest in a string of sexually motivated incidents throughout Hawke's Bay.
In Napier last Sunday a 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in public toilets opposite the Onekawa Shopping Centre on Maadi Rd.
The man, described as Maori, aged about 18 with long dark hair, wore a shirt and apparently pulled a T-shirt from beneath over his head to try to disguise himself.
On October 30, an 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in broad daylight in the Georges Drive greenbelt area, also in Napier.
The offender was described as a male Caucasian, clean-shaven, in his early 20s, of slim build and about 1.7m tall.
He had short, straight brown hair and brown eyes.
The man was wearing a blue checked long-sleeved shirt, black jeans and a yellow plastic watch on his right wrist.
Mr Parker said it was too early to know if Friday night's attack was linked to either of the Napier incidents.
Call Hastings police on (06) 873 0500 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you saw or heard any suspicious behaviour in the Lochain Park area between 10pm on Friday and 1am on Saturday.
For more articles from this region, go to Hawkes Bay Today