British girls say men filmed ‘gang rape’
Two British girls who were allegedly gang-raped by a group of men at a party in Italy said they were targeted because they wanted to dance on the last night of their holiday - and claim the suspects caught the attack on video, according to a report.
The 15-year-olds were reportedly punched, kicked and raped by eight men who crashed the party they attended in the Basilicata province of Matera in southern Italy early last week.
Four men - Michele Masiello, 23, Alberto Lopatriello, 22, Alessandro Zuccaro, 21, and Giuseppe Gargano, 19 - have been arrested and are being held in jail, The Sun reported. All four deny charges of sexual assault and claim the girls consented.
Three others are on bail and another suspect is being sought in the attack at a villa in Marconia di Pisticci, officials said, according the news outlet.
Local rappers Michele Leone and Egidio Andriulli - known on YouTube as Red Michael and Meu Deus - also have been named as suspects, The Sun reported, citing the national daily La Repubblica.
It was not immediately clear whether the singers are believed to have been directly involved in the attack, according to the report.
In their latest song "Conto Cash," which translates to "I count my cash," they rap: "I count money in my Mercedes, two b--s on board, we go for a ride."
"These two b--s undo my belt," they sing.
The girls - who have not been identified for legal reasons - claim they were drugged before being raped on camera in bushes outside the villa for 15 minutes, The Sun reported.
"September 6 was supposed to be the last evening we spent time in Pisticci. We should have left earlier but at the last moment we changed the plans," one of the girls said, the outlet reported, citing La Repubblica.
"A local friend of ours came to pick us up at 11:30 pm to go to a party in a villa with a large garden, in Marconia di Pisticci. I had never been there," she said.
One of the girls told investigators she felt "strange and very confused" after taking a sip from a gin and lemon she was given.
"I didn't knowingly take any drugs but I think someone put something in my second drink because after I drank it I felt awful," she reportedly said.
The girls said the group of men then took them outside and raped them.
"He took me to the back of the house and I saw his friends following us too," one of the girls is reported to have said.
"I tried to go back to the party, but I remember they started kissing and touching me, pushing me towards the back," she continued. "I don't know what my friend was doing but I remember that she was also with a boy."
The girl added: "They pushed me towards a car. There were at least five of them. The area was poorly lit. They hit me and, in turn, took advantage of me.
"I told them to stop. I was shouting in English let me go. They took off their trousers and I tried to defend myself by biting the penis of one," she said.
"A guy tried to record the whole scene with the phone, but I can't tell if he managed to do it," one of the teens reportedly added.
Surveillance footage released by authorities showed the suspects heading toward the field and coming back shortly after as they tried to leave the villa.
The party's organiser said an invitation had been posted on Facebook, which is why many people showed up.
"We were wrong in publishing the invite on Facebook and send it to some WhatsApp groups, but we could not have imagined [what happened]," the organiser said, according to The Sun.
"The party was going well until at some point I saw the boys from Pisticci arrive. Everyone knows them here, they are a bit degenerate, even though some of them come from good families," he said.
"When I saw them arrive, I wondered what they were doing here. But then they disappeared," he added. "When we were serving the cake, the uncle of one of the British girls arrived and started talking. It was only then that we understood what had happened."
The girls were examined at Matera's Madonna della Grazie hospital.
The uncle of one of the girls was told by guests "don't call the police or you will ruin the party," according to The Sun.
In an interview with local media, the father of one of the victims said: "Justice still needs to be done because not all those who were responsible have been identified."
Originally published as British girls say men filmed 'gang rape'