Police said the rape was reported just after 9pm on Saturday (Jan 20) and happened next to the River Aire near the junction of Neville Street and Sovereign Street.
The 33-year-old man was arrested when detectives made enquiries at an address in the Burmantofts area of Leds in the early hours of this morning. (Tues Jan 23)
He remains in custody.
Police said a number of scenes in the area have undergone forensic examination.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Scott, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “We have specially-trained officers supporting the victim and our enquiries are progressing. We are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed anything in the area around the time or who has any information that could assist the investigation.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact HMET officers via 101 quoting Operation Polelock or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.