2 men arrested, 4 sought in Brazilian gang rape
Brasilia, June 1 (IANS) Brazilian police have arrested two men and are searching for four others suspected in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl and the posting of a graphic video of her online.
According to state-run news agency Agencia Brasil, the suspects are 22-year-old Rai Souza, who turned himself into police, and 20-year-old Lucas Perdomo, a local football player, CNN reported.
Also on Tuesday, Interim President Michel Temer announced the creation of a special task force to fight violence against women.
“We are seeing a growing wave of violence in a number of sectors, but in particular in relation to women,” Temer told an emergency meeting of security chiefs from across the country.
“We must work together, if not to eliminate, at least to reduce this evil that is so heavily impacting our society.”
The scandal erupted on May 21 when a 38-second video was posted to Twitter, showing the victim naked and unconscious while male voices bragged about “at least 30” people having sex with her.
The police delegate in charge of the investigation told journalists she is convinced the 16-year-old is the victim of rape, but further investigation is needed to determine how many people were involved.
“My conviction is that there was rape. So much so that it’s on the video,” Cristiana Bento said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“What I want to prove now is the extent of the rape. If there were five, ten or thirty.”
According to a statement she is reported to have given to police, the girl woke up on May 22, naked and wounded, and made her way home.
Only days later, she found out that some of the alleged rapists had put images of the attack on Twitter.
Brazilian Senate approves increased penalties for gang rape
Brasilia, June 1 (IANS) The Brazilian Senate has approved a bill that will increase penalties for gang rapes.
At present, Brazil’s Criminal Code establishes penalties between six and 10 years in prison for rape and up to 12 years if the sexual assault is committed by more than two people, EFE news reported.
With the new law approved by the Senate on Tuesday, the penalty for gang rape would be increased up to over 13 years, although the sentence could be higher if the victim is under 14 or dies after the assault.
President of the Senate Renan Calheiros said the bill is in response to the rape of a 16-year-old girl in a slum of Rio de Janeiro, a video of which was made available online.
The girl told police that she was drugged, raped and when she woke up, she was surrounded by 33 men armed with guns and rifles.
The police confirmed that the rape is “proven” and that the number of rapists who took part in the assault is being investigated.
The case, which came to light last week, deeply saddened Brazil and prompted a string of condemnations including from the suspended President Dilma Rousseff and interim head of state Michel Temer.
While the investigations continue, the government announced the establishment of a new department to fight the crimes against women, which will be under the justice ministry.