Hastings rape investigation: Police charge 27-year-old man

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Police investigating the rape of a teenager in Hastings have charged a man with the offence.

Luke Smith, 27, a builder of no fixed address, has been charged with two counts of rape in Hastings, police said.

He will appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Saturday, December 22).

Sussex Police was alerted at 5.34am after the 19-year-old victim sought help at a friend’s house after being attacked by a man she didn’t know in the West Hill area of the town.

The force issued a public appeal for information later that same day, and arrested a man on Monday night (December 17).

Detective Inspector Ben Newman said: “The victim is being supported by specially trained officers. We want to hear from anyone who may have information about the incident or from anyone who was present on West Hill between approximately 3am and 6am on Saturday morning.

“Any information could be useful, so please contact us either online or call 101 quoting Operation Insight.”