AUSTIN, Texas - Police are searching for a suspect who sexually assaulted another person in downtown Austin.
They said the crime was reported around 9:25 a.m. Friday morning near the intersection of 6th Street and Brazos.
“I would say that is not one of the more common things that you would hear. Sexual assault is frequently done in a more secret place,” said Julia Spann, Co-CEO of SAFE Alliance, which serves survivors of sexual assault.
The investigation led police through the streets of downtown Austin. A nearby employee said officers were searching for a man about 6 feet tall, clean-shaven, wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and black sweat pants.
“What a victim goes through when they've been sexually assaulted of course changes person to person, but it is traumatizing and it is shocking,” Spann said.
Although the details surrounding this particular case may not be typical of the vast majority of sexual assaults, the crime itself is not exactly rare.
“Rape and sexual assault are extremely common crimes. 44% of Texas women have been sexually assaulted at some point in their life,” said Spann.
FBI data shows of U.S. cities that reported the highest number of rapes, Austin ranked 11th in 2018. That year there were 787 rapes in the city according to the data.
“I don't think Austin has a larger problem of sexual assaults than anyplace else in the country, but I do hope that our citizens feel that they can come forward,” Spann said.
Victims of sexual assault can call SAFE Alliance at any time for support or to find resources to begin the healing process. To reach the hotline call 512-267-SAFE (7233) or visit their website.
“When a survivor hears about another case, of course, it's very triggering. People can relive their own experience and they feel sad for somebody else to have to go through what they did,” said Spann.
Anyone with information about the assault is asked to call Austin police.