BRITISH COLUMBIA

SkyTrain Sex Assault Suspect May Be Targetting Foreign Students (VIDEO)

01/13/2014 10:00 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

A suspect wanted in the sexual assault of a Japanese woman may be preying on foreign exchange students, said Transit Police in Metro Vancouver.

The force released surveillance video of the man, who is wanted in the incident at the Gateway SkyTrain station in Surrey.

The student, 29, was buying transit fare in the station when the man in his late 50s approached her to help. He then forced himself on her, repeatedly kissing and hugging her, according to Transit Police on Sunday.

The woman was able to finally push him away. She went to the platform and got on a train, while the suspect left the station on foot shortly after, said Transit Police.

The incident happened in September but the victim, who spoke little English, was traumatized and did not report the incident to police at the time. She later told her homestay host, who encouraged her to go to police.

Transit Police spokeswoman Anne Drennan told CBC News it's likely the suspect has done this before and will continue doing it.

"With ESL students, we find that, first of all, they are very often the targets of these predators," she told CBC. "They're vulnerable because English is not very familiar to them. They don't know how to report it, or who to report it to."

The suspect is described as white, six feet tall, 170 pounds with short, balding hair. He was clean shaven and wore beige pants, green shirt, brown jacket and brown shoes. He was also carrying a briefcase.

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