Australian raped in New York after night at exclusive nightclub

An Australian tourist has been dragged into an alley and raped after leaving an exclusive nightclub in New York City, police say.

The 20-year-old woman was attempting to head back to her hotel when a man grabbed her from behind and dragged her into an alley near the intersection of Madison Avenue and East 58th Street early on Sunday morning.

The woman had been partying at the exclusive Lavo nightclub, a favourite among supermodels and stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Gerard Butler, on the night of the attack, according to the New York Post.

The woman left the nightclub about 3.30am and hopped into a taxi, but soon got into an argument with the driver, possibly over the fare.

Police said the woman got out of the taxi and, moments later, her attacker pulled her into a nearby alley where she was sexually assaulted.

A resident of the area told CBS that such an attack was rare in the upmarket neighbourhood.

“That's pretty shocking because this is a well maintained neighbourhood and incidents of that nature don't usually happen,” Donald Beldock told CBS.

The woman said she had been drinking that night and could not pinpoint exactly where the attack happened, only that she hopped into the taxi at Lavo, according to CBS.

Police are searching for CCTV footage of the attack to see if the woman was followed from the nightclub.

Her attacker is believed to be aged between 35 and 40 years old, about 187 centimetres tall and weighing about 86 kilograms. At the time of the attack he was wearing a dark skull cap.

The New York Police Department has released an image of a man they would like to question over the assault.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been contacted for comment.

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