In Rio de Janeiro, six men and a minor are being charged with the rape of a 16-year-old girl, as well as with posting pictures and video of the crime on the internet. Footage of the assault surfaced on social media last month, including a 38-second video clip that showed the girl naked and unconscious as male voices bragged about “at least 30” people having sexually molested her. The girl has said that she went to visit her boyfriend’s house, only to wake up in a different house surrounded by men, and in the midst of being raped. The girl said when she woke it became clear she had been drugged.
The incident has sparked outrage and protests about what activists are calling a culture of rape in Brazil, including a protest on June 6 in which over 400 pairs of underwear were laid out on Brazil’s Copacabana beach. Nearly 50,000 rapes were reported to Brazilian police in 2014 — the 420 pairs of underwear on the sand were used to represent the number of women reporting a rape every 72 hours in the country. It’s estimated that only 35 percent of rape cases are reported.
According to police investigator Christiana Bento, the inquiry found that the victim, who has been placed under state protection, was raped in two different incidents. One of the main pieces of evidence, she added, was the phone used to record the video. The men could face up to 15 years in jail for rape, eight years for making the images, and six years for sharing them. Two of the suspects have already been detained. Further investigation is expected to determine whether more people took part in the rape.
Read the full story at BBC News.