Ottawa police are asking anyone who was sexually assaulted on public transit to come forward, but some female riders say they aren’t sure they would come forward.

Racil Hilan, age 34, was recently arrested after a string of assaults happened on OC Transpo buses from November to January.

Police said sexual assaults aboard buses are often difficult to investigate because victims don’t let them know about them.

"An incident can happen so quickly, they may not know what happened," said Angela McDade of the Ottawa police's sexual assault investigations unit.

Some transit riders said they might stay quiet if they were touched inappropriately.

"I would feel confused and probably not report it," said Michelle Ratt.

"You should say something . . . obviously," said Ann Villeneuve. "But I don’t think anyone would report it."

Police say to share information if unsure

McDade said sometimes women could be confused about whether a sexual assault happened, but said all information they can share is important.

"They don’t necessarily have to be committed to laying a charge, but we need to know what’s happening in our city."

Yazime Dihlon said she agrees with that idea.

"I would definitely report it," she said.

"I wouldn’t take it . . . it's just going to keep happening then."

Police said anyone wanting to contact the Ottawa police's sexual assault unit can call at 613-236-1222, extension 5944.