ASHLAND — A 21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by an unidentified man late Sunday night in the 2200 block of Siskiyou Boulevard as she was walking home, police said.

ASHLAND — A 21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by an unidentified man late Sunday night in the 2200 block of Siskiyou Boulevard as she was walking home, police said.

The woman was walking from the Minute Market at 1690 Siskiyou Blvd. to her south Ashland home when a man struck up a conversation with her about 10 p.m., police said. Soon after, the man sexually assaulted her, said Deputy Chief Rich Walsh of the Ashland Police Department.

The woman did not know the man, whom police described as a heavyset white or Latino man, of medium height between the ages of 20 and 29.

"The description is all we have at this point," Walsh said Monday morning. "We wanted to get the information out so that the community can be aware."

The woman went home before reporting the assault about 11 p.m., Walsh said, adding that he did not know where the incident took place.

Sexual assaults where the victim does not know the perpetrator are fairly rare in Ashland, he said.

"From time to time we do have rapes where the victim does not know the individual, but it doesn't happen very often," he said.

Because the assailant is still on the loose, police are advising people to be cautious when out at night.

"We just want to make sure that people know that we have had this occur," Walsh said. "We want to make sure that people are more aware of their surroundings. If they're going to go out, going with a group of people or another individual might be a wiser thing if that's an option for them."

Police are encouraging anyone with information about the case to contact Detective Steve Brown with the Ashland Police Department at 482-5211.

Hannah Guzik is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach her at 482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.