Com­mu­nity en­raged by gang-rape at­tack

Large protest in Cal­losa d'En Sar­rià where four young men al­legedly drugged and sex­u­ally as­saulted at 19-year-old woman on New Year's Eve

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS - By Shel­ley Lid­dell slid­[email protected]­

THREE hun­dred peo­ple turned out this Mon­day in Cal­losa d'En Sar­rià's main square to protest against gen­der vi­o­lence fol­low­ing the gang rape of a 19year-old girl in the early hours of Jan­uary 1.

Lo­cal coun­cil­lors and mayor Juan Saval were present as well as of­fi­cials from neigh­bour­ing towns, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the provin­cial gov­ern­ment, lo­cal asso­ciations against gen­der vi­o­lence and pupils from lo­cal schools.

To­gether they stood united while the mayor read a man­i­fest against gen­der vi­o­lence, pledg­ing to do their best to end it (see front page photo).

The young woman was at­tacked by four men aged be­tween 19 and 24. Although three of them have Span­ish na­tion­al­ity, both the at­tack­ers' and vic­tim's fam­i­lies are from Ecuador. Their hard-work­ing par­ents are said to be well known and liked in the town.

Two of the men knew their vic­tim as they met up with her on New Year's Eve in Benidorm. At around 05.00 they de­cided to go to a house be­long­ing a friend of her mother to have a few drinks.

Once they were there, after be­ing plied with more al­co­hol, the sex­ual as­sault be­gan. The young woman re­mem­bers noth­ing about this, but the owner of the house did see what was about to hap­pen and she threw them all out in­clud­ing the vic­tim.

This is when the four-man gang de­cided to go back to one of their mem­ber's home in Cal­losa d'En Sar­rià, tak­ing the young woman with them, who by this time could hardly hold her­self up.

It was here in the base­ment of this prop­erty that the sex­ual as­sault took place.

It was the mother of one of the abusers, who hear­ing noise, went down to see what has hap­pen­ing, and saw the gang as­sault­ing the woman.

She ran back up­stairs, wak­ing her daugh­ter who im­me­di­ately called the lo­cal Guardia Civil.

Of­fi­cers ar­rived so rapidly, that they caught the three of the gang still as­sault­ing her.

The three were im­me­di­ately ar­rested, while a fourth man was de­tained later on dur­ing the day.

The young woman was taken to hos­pi­tal for med­i­cal treat­ment as she was in pain.

Her lawyer told a TV crew that her ini­tial blood test re­sults showed she had co­caine and mar­i­juana, in her blood. And her lawyer sus­pects she could have been given the date rape drug ‘bu­run­dunga’ (scopo­lamine), as she says she re­mem­bers noth­ing about the whole night. He also re­garded the per­son who threw her out ear­lier that night to­gether with her abusers, as 'very ir­re­spon­si­ble in­deed'.

The vic­tim later de­clared that she re­mem­bers be­ing pinned face down on the floor while her clothes were torn off her body, while one of them pressed her head to the ground and oth­ers scram­bled on her back.

On re­view­ing the gang mem­bers' smart­phones, of­fi­cers found they had videoed part of the as­sault, and the vic­tim was filmed clearly fight­ing them off.

One of those ar­rested, a 22year-old has a po­lice record for gen­der vi­o­lence and sex­u­ally abus­ing a mi­nor, and in­ves­ti­ga­tions led to an­other woman who was sex­u­ally as­saulted last Oc­to­ber and who has now re­ported him to the au­thor­i­ties.

Of­fi­cers sus­pect the gang may have as­saulted more women, who are now start­ing to come for­ward, now that the gang, who called them­selves "Los Reyes de la Noche", (The Kings of the Night), are safely in cus­tody.

The four ar­rested face crimes of sex­ual ag­gres­sion, two counts of sex­ual abuse and an­other crime against pri­vacy.

One of the sus­pects ar­rested and es­corted by Guardia Civil to Vil­la­joyosa sta­tion

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