There have been two alleged cases of gang rape carried out by youths in Spain in the last week.
The first case involves Moroccan immigrants in Bilbao aged between 18 and 36.
The victim was an 18-year-old Spanish girl. The other involved a group of teenage French tourists in Alicante who allegedly gang raped a 20-year-old Norwegian tourist.
In the case of Bilbao, the attack took place in the Parque de Etxebarria on the 1st of August, involving six youths, who were tracked down by the Basque police in the old town four hours after the incident being reported.
Apparently, the victim had contacted one of the accused via Instagram and had arranged to meet him at 23.30h in the said park. However, when she got there she saw that he was accompanied by five other individuals so she tried to leave the park, but to no avail.
She was raped several times but was able to identify one of them by his tattoos, details of which she gave to the police.
There were large demonstrations in support of the victim and condemning this incident.
There is controversy in the fact that the judge presiding over the Police Court order two of them, who were positively identified by the victim, to be remanded in custody whilst the other four, were released pending further investigation (DNA samples). The fear is that they will skip the country.
Furthermore the Basque police issued a recommendation stating that it is advisable for women not to go on blind dates with people who they have just ‘met’ on social media which was later interpreted as sexist.
This brings us to the five Frenchmen, all in their late teens although technically adults, who were arrested as they were making plans to leave the country.
The 20-year-old Norwegian victim had agreed to go to their flat in Benidorm (Alicante) with another girl. Hours later, the victim and her girl friend went to the medical centre at approximately 01.45h to report the rape.
Between 04.00h and 04.30h the five males were all arrested – they were due to return to France later that day.
The women had ‘met’ the Frenchmen, who were here on holiday like themselves, via social media and had arranged to meet up with them in town. Afterward they all agreed to go back to the holiday flat rented out by the alleged aggressors. At one point in the evening one of the women left, leaving the other alone with the five men.
When the two women reported the rape to the police they were able to provide profile photographs from the social media, which led to their early arrest.
Amongst the arresting officers was a sergeant from the French Gendarmerie who was on an exchange course in Benidorm. His help was described in “fundamental” in the arrest, etc.
All five have been remanded in custody.