The error led to the Wiltshire Times recalling all issues of last week’s newspaper on Thursday afternoon, with an amended version hitting the streets more than 24 hours later.
The 30-year-old alleged victim had given an interview to the Times, while retaining her right to lifetime anonymity, after being told the Crown Prosecution Service was not going to charge her attacker.
After being correctly silhouetted by the photographer who took it, it is understood the picture was ‘lightened up’ in production at the paper’s Oxford printing press, revealing the woman’s face.
Readers were able to buy copies of the newspaper featuring the erroneous image on Thursday afternoon until the mistake was realised.
The alleged victim’s story was later run in print and on the paper’s website after the image of her face, pictured above left, was obscured to the degree necessary to prevent her identification.
In a tweet last Friday the paper apologised to readers and informed them papers would be available in shops the following day.
According to its most recent ABC figures, the Times had an average circulation of 9,548 during 2014.
The alleged victim whose photo appeared in the story had awoken in a Trowbridge bedsit to find herself naked from the waist down and a man standing over her.
In the interview with the Times, she said police had told her they had a good case against the man, who they arrested soon afterwards.
But earlier this month received a letter from the CPS telling her it would be taking no further action as it was her word against his.
The man, who was a loose acquaintance, admitted to police he had sex with the woman but claimed it was consensual.