The Eastern Bay of Plenty Police say members of the local community will likely hold the key to identifying an offender responsible for an assault and attempted rape that took place in a Kawerau house, just after noon on Sunday 1 August.
The head of the CIB for Eastern Bay of Plenty, Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Standen, says a 16 year old girl was sleeping in her home in Domett St, Kawerau, on Sunday afternoon, when she woke around 12:15pm to find a man standing over her bed.
"He grabbed the victim, pinned her down and attempted to rape her. He also threatened her during the attack. Courageously, the victim struggled back and kicked the offender, causing him to stop the attack and leave the house.
"This was clearly a terrifying event for this 16 year old, who should have been safe in her own home.
"We have an extensive team working on the investigation, and we're focused on doing everything we can to identify and apprehend this offender as soon as possible so that he can be held accountable for his actions."
Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Standen says the Police need the public's help to solve this investigation.
"Someone may have overheard a conversation about this incident, or know of someone who matches his description, and we urgently need you to make contact with us – either directly to Police, or anonymously through the Crimestoppers line, 0800 555 111."
Detective Senior Sergeant Standen says the offender is described as a male Maori, in his late 20s or early 30s, or a fat or solid build. He was wearing a dark brown hooded sweatshirt and "Ridgeline" branded track pants.
"We know he left the property through the front gate onto Domett Street, however, we don't know which direction he took from there.
"We would like to hear from anyone who was in this area between 11am and 1pm on Sunday 1 August, and we would urgently like to talk to anyone who may have any information about this incident."
Detective Senior Sergeant Standen says the victim is being supported by her family and members of Victim Support.
Members of the public can contact a member of the investigation team at the Kawerau Police Station on (07) 323 1400 or Whakatane Police on (07) 308 5255. Information can also be provided anonymously to the Crimestoppers line, 0800 555 111.