Police investigating hitchhiking sexual assault

Police are seeking witnesses after a sexual assault on State Highway 3 just north of Pātea.

Detective Sergeant Pat Yates, of Taranaki Police, said they wanted assistance from people who were in the vicinity of South Rd (SH3) in Hāwera between 6.45am and 8am on Sunday, January 9.

"A young woman driving a silver 2005 Nissan Tiida picked up a man hitch-hiking on South Road, on the southern outskirts of Hāwera," Yates said.

"She continued driving south on SH3 towards Pātea.

"Just north of Pātea, she was forced to pull over and was sexually assaulted in her car."

Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen her vehicle or a man hitchhiking in the area between those times.

Anyone with information should contact police on 105 and refer to file number 220109/5091 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Yates said the matter was not connected to an ongoing investigation into a sexual assault in New Plymouth on December 22.

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