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Gardai hunt rapist


Kevin Street Garda station

Kevin Street Garda station

Kevin Street Garda station

GARDAI are hunting a man who raped a woman with special needs in a brutal daylight attack.

The victim was held for over an hour after being approached by a man on the South Circular Road in Dublin.

The woman, in her mid-20s, required extensive treatment at the Sexual Assault Unit of the Rotunda Hospital after her horror ordeal.

Gardai were last night said to be closing in on the woman's suspected attacker.

The victim was "out exercising" with a family member but the pair were separated for a time. During that time she alleges that she was approached by the man – understood to be an Irish national.

She was sexually assaulted in an ordeal that lasted almost an hour.

The incident happened around the Harrington Street area near Hanlon's Corner.

Sources say that the young woman, who has Down Syndrome, returned to her home in a "hysterical state". Upon seeing her, her worried parents immediately contacted gardai.

She was subsequently brought to the Sexual Assault Unit for treatment.

The investigation is being led by gardai at Kevin Street.

A senior source explained: "This matter is being treated very seriously. An arrest in the case is imminent."

While the investigation is being led by local officers, the Garda Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit are also involved.

CCTV is being closely studied and a major part of the investigation will be to determine if the rape is linked to any other sex crime.

In these type of cases, specialist gardai use a system called VICLAS, the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System, a computer developed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the early 1990s to compare different crimes for similarities.

Sources say that VICLAS is "especially useful" for investigating random sexual assault or rape cases as it uses behavioural analysis, traditional lines of enquiry and geographical profiling.

According to the latest figures from the CSO, of the nearly 2,000 sex crimes committed in 2011, only one in six cases resulted in charges being brought.

A CSO analysis for the years 2007-2011 showed sexual offences rose by 49pc – and of the 1,992 cases, 57pc were detected and 16pc ended in charges.