Woman raped in popular section of Center City

CENTER CITY - November 19, 2013

The 29-year-old victim had just moved to Philadelphia from the Midwest four days earlier when she was brutally assaulted.

The attack happened Thursday night on Saint James Street between 12th and 13th streets - just a few feet away from some of Philadelphia's most popular bars and restaurants.

The victim had been socializing with a friend at Tabu Tavern. Around 11:00 p.m., she left the bar to feed the parking meter when she was assaulted.

Philadelphia Police Lieutenant Anthony McFadden explains, "He says something to her. She turns, at which point he grabs her, throws her into the alley, throws her to the ground."

The victim was beaten, raped, and robbed of $160. Police say she ran back to the bar and her friend drove her to the hospital where they called the police.

Investigators were back in the neighborhood today collecting video surveillance from numerous cameras. The area is bustling during all hours with a number of restaurants and bars.

The victim described the attacker as a black man with a dark complexion, about 5'9" tall. He has a muscular build and shoulder length braided hair. He was wearing a buttoned down blue shirt, khaki pants with a brown belt and had a chain with a cross around his neck.

Police are alerting women to be aware.

Lt. McFadden says, "Keep your guard up, stay with friends, don't go out there by yourself. Just, you know, be aware of your surroundings."

The victim isn't entirely sure, but her attacker may also have had an accomplice. If you know anyone who fits the description or if you saw anything at all suspicious in that neighborhood Thursday night, call the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251.

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