Teenage girl in Italy gang-raped after friend posted she was 'available' on Facebook
Teenage girl allegedly gang-raped after personal details are posted on 'joke' Facebook account
A 14-year-old Italian girl was allegedly gang-raped by at least eight men after a former friend set up a false Facebook page saying the girl was 'available to anyone'.
After the teenager’s name, mobile telephone number and other personal details were posted on Facebook “as a joke”, she was contacted by the men, aged from 16 to 25, and raped in a park in the port town of Molfetta in the southern region of Puglia
The horrific assault, the latest example of the perils of social media, took place in April but the girl only recently plucked up enough courage to report the attack to police.
Officers from the paramilitary Carabinieri police arrested four men on Monday – one aged 20, two aged 21, and another aged 25.
Four other young men, who were under the age of 18 at the time of the attack, are being investigated
The teenager was lured to a public park in the town, which lies to the north of the regional capital of Bari, by the men after they befriended her.
“After inviting her to follow them into the park on the pretext of having a chat, they violated her one by one, heedless of her cries for help. Once the gang rape was over, the girl was abandoned there,” prosecutors wrote in a 12-page document presented to a court in Trani, a nearby town.
The teenager told investigators that the attack had been witnessed by a park warden. “He told me that even though he heard my screams, he didn’t intervene because he thought it was none of his business,” she said.
The men ordered her not to reveal the attack to anyone, threatening to tell her family and anyone else who knew her in the town that she was “easy”.
The intimidation continued throughout the summer, with at least two more rapes and other acts of intimidation.
The girl was so terrified that she destroyed the SIM card of her mobile phone in the hope of cutting off all contact with the gang.
The former friend who set up the false Facebook account denied responsibility for the attacks, telling police that “everyone in Molfetta knew she was an easy girl.”
The 14-year-old eventually confided in a relative, who insisted she file a report with the police.
“This is a distressing and squalid affair,” said Francesco Giannella, a prosecutor who led the investigation.
It showed that “many young people do not take into account the consequences of abusing social media networks,” he said.
Someone somewhere has to take some responsibility for this kind of thing. Who is it going to be?