The organiser of gay marriage rallies in Ballarat has claimed he was targeted in a late-night sexual assault because he was well-known for his gay rights activism.

Koby Drake, 20, told Southern Star he was approached by a man in the early hours of May 1 who identified him from stories he’d seen in the local press about gay marriage.

Drake said he was approached by the man in Lydiard St, Ballarat. A conversation started and it’s alleged the man sexually assaulted him shortly after.

“I’ve never seen him before but he said he recognised me,” Drake said.

“He took me to a vacant lot … it was traumatic and stressful.”

It’s claimed the man exposed himself and later led Drake to a vacant lot where he allegedly sexually assaulted him.

Drake said he escaped by walking to a friend’s house nearby and was later driven to a police station to report the incident.

Drake said he was “a bit shaken up” but while lying on a hospital bed getting a forensic medical examination he vowed to fight for same-sex marriage rights harder than ever.

“I will not let this stop me fighting for my rights,” he said. “I’m not going to let this intimidate me into not keep going.”

In an earlier written statement, Drake said he blamed the Government for not giving gay couples the right to marry.

“I want everyone to be free to do whatever, and if that means I have to keep standing up, I will do that,” he said.

Ballarat Crime Investigation Unit Detective Senior Constable Paul Jolly told Southern Star a suspect had been interviewed.

Jolly confirmed a 42-year-old Mount Clear man had been interviewed in relation to the incident but “released pending further inquiry”.

No charges have been laid.

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