At about 10.30am on Thursday a 33-year-old woman was walking down St Nicholas Street in Old Portsmouth when she was approached from behind by a man she didn’t know.
He sexually assaulted her before running off and turning left into Peacock Lane.
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A police spokeswoman said: ‘The woman was not injured but she was understandably distressed.’
The man was white, in his early 20s, about 5ft 7in and slim, and wearing a baseball cap on backwards with a red peak and white mesh back.
He also wore a pale or white shirt or T-shirt, black trousers and black shoes and had a rucksack on.
The spokeswoman added: ‘Officers investigating the incident are keen to identify the man in the image.
‘We know you can’t see his face but maybe you recognise his clothing? Do you recognise his description?’
Police also want to hear from anyone who saw what happened or has private CCTV or a video doorbell.
Anyone with any information can call police on 101 quoting reference 44220176383.