18Y.O. Arrested After Allegedly Following & Assaulting Woman Off Melbourne Tram

An 18-year-old man has been arrested after allegedly following a woman on a Melbourne tram and sexually assaulting her after she disembarked, in an incident that remarkably occurred on the same tram line and same night that 21-year-old University student Aiia Maasarwe was assaulted and murdered.

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The alleged incident occurred at approximately 10:44pm on January 15th this year on an 86 tram in Preston.

A 20-year-old woman disembarked the tram at Plenty Road. The accused man also disembarked the tram at the same time, and is said to have followed the woman along Bell St, where the alleged sexual assault took place.

Police investigating the assault released CCTV footage of a man wanted in connection to the case over the weekend, leading to the arrest of an 18-year-old Coburg man on Monday night.

The incident is notable for taking place not only on the same night as the murder of Palestinian student Aiia Maasarwe, but on the same tram line as well.

Approximately two hours after the initial assault, Maasarwe was stalked for 100 metres after exiting the tram at Plenty Road, some five kilometres further up the road from the site of the other assault. Maasarwe was attacked and fatally wounded, in an incident that sparked widespread shock among the greater Melbourne community. Two days after her death, 20-year-old Codey Herrmann was arrested and charged with her alleged rape and murder.

The 18-year-old man arrested in conjunction with the other sexual assault was questioned by police and released late on Monday night. He is expected to be charged on summons.