POLICE believe a woman raped in her own home in Dalkeith knew her attacker.
They have stepped up patrols in the area after the attack carried out by a man with a red-eyed animal tattoo on his arm.
The 20-year-old victim was attacked shortly after returning to her Allan Terrace home from the Peppermint Park nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning.
A police spokesman said today: “Following further investigation, Lothian and Borders Police have established that the suspect and victim were known to each other at the time of the attack. Inquiries are ongoing.”
Detectives said “full resources” had been committed to catching the intruder, who is understood to have broken into the property and assaulted the woman before raping her in a bedroom.
It is believed the attacker may have suffered facial injuries or scratches during the struggle.
Speaking at the crime scene, Detective Chief Inspector Kenny Gray said the intruder, who is understood to have been unarmed did not mask his face.
“The victim has got home and got herself settled in the house before becoming aware of a man in the property,” he said. “She has been confronted by this man and was assaulted and taken into the bedroom where a serious sexual assault has taken place.”
DCI Gray, below, said CCTV footage was being examined while forensic teams carried out testing on items in the victim’s home. It is thought the man broke into the property, but detectives would not be drawn on exactly how he gained entry.
DCI Gray said the “terrifying ordeal” left the victim “traumatised and distressed” and she was now being cared for by her family. He added: “It’s terrifying and I know the community will be feeling it just now, but I want to reassure them that we are doing our very best to get to the bottom of it.
“At this time we are appealing to anyone who was in the vicinity of Allan Terrace between midnight and 2am on Sunday morning, who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area, to contact police.
“We also want anyone who may have noticed a lone female walking in the area of Newmills Road, Gibraltar Road, or Allan Terrace just after midnight to get in touch.”
The suspect is described as being 6ft tall and in his mid 20s, with tanned complexion, a muscular build and short dark hair. He was wearing dark jeans, a short-sleeved top, and had a number of tattoos.
Police said the victim was 5ft 2ins tall with brown hair and was wearing black leggings, a cream top with elbow-length sleeves, and white flat shoes.
Dalkeith councillor Alex Bennett said: “What has happened here is shocking and I would like to express my sympathies to the victim of this crime. I just hope they catch the suspect as soon as possible.”