A man has been charged with a sex attack in the Royal Pavilion Gardens in Brighton, Sussex Police said this evening (Sunday 6 June).
The force said: “A man has been charged in connection with an alleged sexual assault which took place in Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, just before midnight on Wednesday 2 June.
“A 17-year-old girl had walked to the gardens with two suspects via East Street and North Street.
“After the alleged assault, they walked together along Old Steine and into Pool Valley, where the victim was assisted by members of the public.
“Following inquiries, two people were arrested. The Crown Prosecution Service has since authorised charges against one suspect.
“Ashley Lewis, 35, of Gloucester Gardens, London, is charged with sexual assault and theft of personal items including a bag, a bank card and mobile phone, belonging to the victim.
“He has been remanded in custody to appear before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Monday 7 June.
“A boy aged 17, arrested on suspicion of rape, remains released on conditional bail until Thursday 1 July, pending further inquiries.
“Officers are still appealing for anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area of East Street or Pavilion Gardens to come forward.”
Detective Inspector Carrie Williams, of the Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Investigations Unit, said: “We are working to establish the circumstances of this incident and are appealing for help from the public.
“If you witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the Pavilion Gardens and East Street area between 11.20pm on Wednesday 2 June and 12.10am on Thursday 3 June, or have any relevant CCTV or dashcam footage, please report it to us online or call 101, quoting Operation Varnish.
“We take reports of this nature extremely seriously and we are grateful to the members of the public who came forward to assist the victim.
“She is currently being supported by specially trained officers and officers will be completing high-visibility patrols in the area for community reassurance.”
“This incident is being treated as isolated and there is not thought to be any threat to the wider community.”
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