A TEENAGE girl was sexually assaulted after being forced into a car and driven to woods in Harpenden on Wednesday night (19 June).

The teenager was subjected to a terrifying ordeal when she was attacked and made to perform indecent acts.

It is the second attack in the area in two months and police are investigating links between the two. In April a 16-year-old girl was dragged into a field and assaulted as she walked along Piggotshill Lane.

The attacker in both cases is described as being aged in his late 30's and around 5ft 7ins tall.

On Wednesday the girl, who is in her late-teens and from Harpenden, was walking along Wheathampstead Road close to the roundabout at the junction with Piggotshill Lane, between 7pm and 7.30pm, when the attacker jogged up behind her.

He forced her into a small red car that was parked on the roundabout and drove her to the wooded area near the sewage works.

After the attack he left her in the woods and the girl managed to get a friend's house nearby.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Colin Sparrow said: "This was an extremely frightening ordeal for the girl and we are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed any part of this incident.

"We want to speak to anyone who may have seen a small red car in the early evening near to the roundabout or further down Piggotshill Lane up until around 8pm.

"Also, anyone who saw a man in this area fitting the description of the offender or who knows a man who fits this description and uses or has access to a car as described.

"People may have seen the man with the victim, but may not have realised what was happening again we need them to come forward"

A police spokesman said the girl was left very traumatised by the ordeal but was uninjured by the assault.

The attacker is described as a white man but with dark or tanned skin. He is aged in his late 30's and is around 5ft 7in. He is of normal build and has dark eyes and dark brown or black hair. He was clean shaven and wore a white short sleeved top and dark bottoms.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives on 01707 638223. All calls will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Alternatively witnesses can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

June 21, 2002 13:00