A 35-year-old woman was assaulted in an alley at Loughrigg in Cramlington at 1pm on Wednesday, September 24.
A man approached the woman and asked for the time before grabbing her head and forcing it against the wall and causing scratches to her chest.
The victim also suffered scrapes and reddening to her cheek and was left shaken by the assault.
Police are trying to establish exactly what happened and are appealing for any witnesses or anyone who saw the man in the area to get in touch.
The attacker is described as white, aged about 45, was plump with dark hair and a fringe over his face.
He was clean shaven but unkempt and wore dark clothing.
Anyone with information about the assault is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 605 24/09/14, or alternatively Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.