Two American Students Raped in Sicily: Suspects in Custody

Crime, Shooting

Two American students were raped in Siracusa, Sicily, after being split up by attackers. The suspects are in custody. Learn more about the incident and the ongoing investigation.

Bollywood Fever: Two American students were raped after being separated by opportunistic attackers in Siracusa, Sicily. The horrific incident occurred on the night of July 3, as the victims were returning to their hotel from an evening spent in the Ortigia section of the town.

The suspects, aged 18 and 19 and described as locals, approached the women in the marina area. The attackers, riding a scooter, took advantage of the situation when the victims were trying to use a cigarette vending machine that required a national ID for age verification. One of the attackers offered the use of a card, using this opportunity to separate the two women.

Crime, Shooting

One of the women was assaulted near the marina, while the other was reportedly taken to a house where she was also raped. Both victims reported the attacks to the police the following morning, prompting an immediate investigation by Siracusa’s vice squad.

The investigation quickly led to the identification and arrest of the two men at dawn on July 5. They have been charged with aggravated sexual assault and are currently in custody in a local jail.

The victims are both in Italy for their studies. A statement from the prosecutor’s office indicated that the attackers exploited the women’s lack of Italian language skills to orchestrate the assaults. The accounts of the victims were corroborated by witness statements and evidence collected at the crime scenes, according to reports from Corriere Del Mezzogiorno.

The U.S. Department of State currently has Italy under a level two travel advisory, advising travelers to exercise “increased caution” primarily due to the threat of terrorism, not crime.

This incident is not isolated. In April, a Canadian woman was raped in Palermo, Sicily’s largest city, at the bed and breakfast where she was staying. She had met one of the two men involved while visiting her boyfriend in the hospital. After inviting him back to her accommodation, she reported losing memory of the events that followed.

In 2019, an American woman was gang-raped by three Sicilian men after being lured from a bar. The attackers were initially sentenced to seven years in prison, later reduced to four years on appeal.

Recently, two Italian soccer players, Mattia Lucarelli and Federico Apolloni, were sentenced to over three and a half years in prison for gang-raping an American woman in an apartment in Milan.

These incidents highlight the ongoing issue of sexual violence in tourist destinations and the importance of vigilance and safety measures for travelers. The swift action by Siracusa’s vice squad and the subsequent arrests demonstrate a commitment to justice for the victims.


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