A male student was sexually assaulted by two men who grabbed him as he walked through a nature reserve in broad daylight.
The 19-year-old victim was walking to college through woods popular with dog walkers in Darlington, County Durham , when he was dragged to the ground by two men and sexually assaulted.
He had just gone under a railway bridge in Geneva Woods, known locally as "Skinny Bridge" when he was targeted at 8.10am.
The attackers - believed to be aged between 30 and 40 - then ran off, leaving their terrified victim on the floor.
Durham Police say the victim was left badly shaken but not physically hurt and he is being supported by specially-trained police officers.
Wikimedia Geneva Woods underpass, Darlington
The woods were cordoned off for forensic examination, while police moved to reassure locals they believe it was a one off.
Det Sgt Phil Collingwood said: "The woods are very popular with dog walkers and we would ask anyone who might have seen or heard anything unusual to contact us.”
"We carried out extensive enquiries in the area yesterday, during which time the woods were cordoned off.”
"I would like to reassure local residents that at this stage we believe this to be an isolated incident.”
A force spokesman added: "We are also keen to speak to any motorists who might have been driving along Parkside at that time of day (on Friday) in case they have information which could help."