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Half-A-Million Dollar Reward For Melbourne Laneway Sexual Assault

Police are offering a $500,000 reward for information after a woman was sexually assaulted in a laneway in Melbourne CBD last year.

The 18-year-old known only as 'Amy' was walking along Flinders Street towards Swanston Streets to catch a tram at about 1.45 am on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

As she walked past a bar located under a hostel between Elizabeth Street and Degraves Street a man left the building and started walking next to her. Shortly after, the man put his arm around the teenager's shoulders and talked to her briefly.

As the pair approached the Swanston Street metro tunnel, the man pulled Amy towards him and tried to kiss her. Despite her pushing him away, he kept his arms around her shoulders and neck.

They walked a little further and then the man allegedly forced Amy into an alleyway behind high mental gates. He locked the gates and allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Melbourne CBD Sexual Assault
The man police believe could be connected to the sexual assault. Photo: Victoria Police

"It's a popular time. There are still a lot of people around at night ... so it is an unusual incident to occur," Detective Inspector Steve Wilson told media on Tuesday.

It is believed the alleged perpetrator acted alone, however, "there is some indication that he may have acknowledged someone as he walked away along Flinders Street".

Amy managed to scream and free herself from the man and fled onto Flinders Street.

Police say a number of people saw Amy running from the scene, including three men who stopped to help her as she was visibly distressed. Amy did not disclose to these men that she has been sexually assaulted.

"It's very disconcerting for a young woman walking along the street on her own minding her own business, walking home to be suddenly approached by this individual who had grabbed her and dragged her into a laneway," Wilson said.

Steve Wilson Victoria Police
Detective Inspector Steve Wilson. Photo: Facebook/ Victoria Police.

The men helped Amy contact a friend and she was able to get home.

One of the men who helped Amy has previously assisted police, however, they are calling for the two other men to come forward. Police said these men were not involved in the sexual assault in any way.

On Tuesday police re-released images of the man they believe is connected to the crime. He is said to be aged in his mid-20s and has brown skin. He was wearing a black puffy jacket with red lining, blue jeans and white sneakers at the time of the alleged attack.

"We are always concerned that people of this kind will strike again. They have already struck once which always makes us concerned that they may, in fact, do it again," Wilson said.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au