Altona Cherry Lake sex assault: Police hunt for teenager

UPDATE: Police have released an image of a 17-year-old they want to speak to after a woman was sexually assaulted at Altona’s Cherry Lake on Wednesday.

Sexual crimes squad detectives said a 31-year-old woman was walking on the northern side of the lake about 11am when she was grabbed from behind, around the neck, by a male wearing a bandana over his head and partially covering his face.

“He was, at the time, brandishing a knife,” Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Michael Phyland said.

“He then threatened her with the knife and forced her to another area a distance away, at knifepoint, towards some bushes.

“It was at that time a passer-by intervened. A male on a pushbike, thankfully, was riding by and intervened, and sufficiently, whereby the offender then ran away.

“There were some threats made in relation to using the knife.

“It was a case where we believe that a serious sexual assault was imminent.”

The woman suffered a graze to her right leg and did not require hospital treatment.

“She’s certainly upset and traumatised by what happened,” Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Phyland said.

“It was a very disturbing and upsetting event for her.”

The knife has not been recovered.

Detectives want to speak to Jake Taylor-Cain in relation to the attack.

He is described as Caucasian, about 190 centimetres, with brown wavy hair and a medium build. It is his birthday today [Thursday].

Police say he was last seen in St Albans and is believed to frequent the western suburbs.

“We know that he frequents, certainly, the western suburbs area and the Brimbank area,” Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Phyland said.

“We know that he travels on public transport, trains, and sometimes frequents the city area, so people out in those areas, the western suburbs, the public transport system, certainly on the trains, in and around the city, if you see Jake or you believe you see him, make contact with the police.”

Anyone who sees Jake is advised to call Triple 0 immediately.

Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Phyland said police were urging Jake to hand himself in.

“It may be that he needs some assistance from police and has some problems that we can assist him with but certainly we would like to speak to him and we’d ask that he hand himself in to police as soon as possible.

“Our message to Jake would be that if he hands himself in at a police station or makes contact with the police, he may want to do that through an appropriate contact, a family member perhaps, or to let somebody know his whereabouts and just peacefully hand himself in to police so that we can potentially offer him some assistance in terms of if he has a problem or if his life’s spiralling out of control, we can offer him some assistance and speak to him as a person of interest.”

Police have ruled out a link between Wednesday’s assault and 13 sexual assaults in the vicinity of Mason Street in Newport and Altona North between April 29 and August 10.

Police believe they know the man responsible for the 13 attacks, who is aged in his 30s, but do not have the evidence to charge him.

Superintendent Stuart Bateson said the prime suspect in the Newport-Altona North attacks had three prior convictions for similar offences.

He said the man knew he was being monitored by police and moved out of the western suburbs shortly after August 10. He remains under police surveillance.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit