Police have launched an appeal after a 14-year-old girl was grabbed and raped by a stranger as she walked home.
The schoolgirl was attacked in Broadwater Crescent, Stevenage, at around 11:30pm on Thursday, Hertfordshire Police said.
She was walking past the alleyway near the Man In The Moon pub when an unknown male approached her before sexually assaulting her, the Force added.
The victim is being supported by specially trained officers.
The suspect was described as being of slim build, and around 5ft 9ins tall.
He was said to have short brown hair and stubble and was wearing grey Nike joggers, a black zipped-up hoodie and white Nike trainers.
Detective Inspector Michael Macbeth said: “I understand this will be hugely concerning to the local community, and I would like to reassure you that we are conducting extensive enquiries in order to identify the offender.”
He added: “If you believe you saw someone matching that description in the area around the time specified, please get in contact.
“If you were driving in the area around the time of the incident and have a dash cam, please check it and get in contact if you spot something that might help.
“Alternatively, if you have any information, please get in touch with police as soon as possible.
“Even something that may seem relatively minor or insignificant could be vital to our investigation.”
You can report information online or by calling 101, quoting crime reference 41/56457/22.
Alternatively, you can stay anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.