A Gisborne teenager has been charged with sexually assaulting an elderly woman outside her home.

The alleged attack happened about 5pm on Monday last week.

Police arrested a 17-year-old man at the weekend and charged him with assault with intent to rape.

"The woman was out the front of her home when the accused man approached her," said Detective Sergeant Kevin Ford.


"It is alleged he followed her down the driveway."

The matter was brought to the attention of police several days later.

"We conducted door-to-door inquiries on Friday and Saturday, with both uniformed and CIB staff speaking to residents around the neighbourhood," Det Sgt Ford said.

"The lady was examined by a doctor and she is at home recovering."

She suffered bruising to her body in the incident but no other injuries, he said.

"Friends are with her supporting her and Victim Support is also helping her recover."

The 17-year-old has been remanded in custody to reappear today.

"We will oppose bail," Det Sgt Ford said.

Police are asking for information from anyone who saw suspicious behaviour in the woman's neighbourhood on the day of the incident or preceding days.

A neighbour of the woman described her as a quiet lady, who kept to herself.

"She hardly ever seemed to come out of her home, except to put out her rubbish and the occasional trip in her car."

"I am sure everyone will want to offer to support her and help her get over the trauma involved."