Sketch released in sex assault near City Hall

PHILADELPHIA - December 14, 2011

It was at 1:30 a.m. near Philadelphia's most prominent landmarks when a 32-year-old woman says the man pulled her into a courtyard at gunpoint and raped her.

Police released a composite sketch, hoping someone will recognize the suspect depicted.

"Obviously, I'm shocked and afraid for my neighbors,"

Special Victims Unit Lieutenant Anthony McFadden says the assault happened a week ago on Wednesday morning.

The victim was walking from 17th Street and Delancey Place.

She made it past City Hall, Love Park, and the Parkway.

Then she approached the 100 block of Mole Street and her attacker between 15th and 16 streets.

"16th Street's well lit, however, some of them side streets along Center City are not and we're still reviewing surveillance," McFadden said.

On the small stretch of street, there are homes and during the day, a lot of foot traffic.

Those who work in the area use the street as a short cut.

"I cut through here because it's quicker, but I might walk around the other way or I just might be a little more alert," Nicole McDevitt said.

Residents say they'll continue watching out for each other.

The suspect is described as a black male of about 30 to 35 years old, standing 5'8" to 5'10" tall and weighing 150 to 180 pounds.

The suspect was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt or jacket, a white shirt and dark-colored denim jeans.

Investigators say if you take a closer look, you'll notice something unique.

"He did have two hoop earrings in both ears, which is very distinctive," McFadden said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251 or 215-685-3252.

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