Woman sexually assaulted on bike trail

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KPLR) - According to Belleville police at around 1:30 am Sunday morning a 56-year-old woman was walking home from a business in the 1500 block of West Main Street when she was attacked by a stranger.  Police say she took a shortcut and reached a well-known bike trail near South 6th Street and Centerville Avenue when she was approached by a man. That encounter turned horrific when that unknown man pushed her down to the ground and sexually assaulted her. The victim was able to escape and report it to police. Sergeant Mark Heffernan says this type of attack is rare in the city.

"There is no doubt something happened on the bike trail there is evidence to suggest that. We have several detectives working on the case and following promising leads.'

Police say to increase safety its best to walk in groups, with confidence and at a steady pace. It's also a good idea to stay near lit sidewalks and avoid dark short cuts.

The suspect is a black male in his late 20`s to early 30`s. He`s 5.5" to 5.7" and weighs between 150 and 170 lbs