christ church
The student arrested reportedly attends Christ Church College in Oxford Getty

A "highly intelligent" Oxford University student has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman and of actual bodily harm.

The 23-year-old, who has not been named, was detained by police on a houseboat near Christ Church Meadow on Tuesday (20 September).

He is said to be "notable on the Oxford politics scene" but not currently in a position of power in any society in the university, according to The Tab.

The alleged sex attack is said to have left the woman "physically and psychologically scarred", with a university source telling The Sun: "The nature of the allegations are truly shocking.

"He is a highly intelligent young man. His arrest has shocked the university community."

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said he had been released on bail until 24 November.

The Sun claimed he was a student at Christ Church College – the same college rocked by unproven rape claims in 2014 against the former president of the prestigious Oxford Union, Ben Sullivan.

The history and politics student was arrested in 2014 on suspicion of raping one fellow student and attacking another, but he was cleared of the allegations and no further action was taken against him.

He later spoke of his struggle to deal with the fallout from the "poisonous allegations", and had called for those accused of similar crimes to be given anonymity until a police investigation had been carried out.