A MAJOR investigation is underway after a teenage girl was the victim of a serious sexual attack.

The assault took place in the early hours of today (Sunday) in York, not far from the riverside.

The scene was cordoned off to allow forensic examinations and searches to continue – and detectives have also appealed to the public for any witnesses to come forward.

The incident happened at about 1.30am when two teenage girls were approached by a man in McDonald’s on Blake Street.

The man then followed them to a bench outside the entrance to the nearby Museum Gardens and is said to have sexually assaulted one of them near some benches on the river path close to the steps at Dame Judy Dench walk.

Afterwards the man was seen to walk off in the direction of the Scarborough Bridge.

He was described as white, in his mid 40s, around 5ft 10ins tall, with a medium build and a bald head.

He was wearing a white jacket over a shirt and blue denim jeans. He spoke with an eastern European accent.

Police believe he may have been with two other men before he went into the burger bar.

Detectives are trying to trace people who were in McDonald’s at around 1am or in the vicinity of the river path near Judy Dench Walk, or walking across Lendal Bridge between 1am and 1.30am.

A police investigation tent had been set up by Museum Gardens and the river front was also cordoned off from Lendal Bridge to the Marygate area.

Anyone who may know the suspect involved or has any other information that can help the investigation is urged to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option two and ask for York CID.

Alternatively, information can be emailed to YorkCID@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk or Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111.