The attack here, in the city of Siracusa, on the island of Sicily

Two American students were raped after they were split up by opportunistic attackers, aged 18 and 19, as they were returning to their hotel in the city of Siracusa in Sicily. 

The suspects, who have been described as locals, are now in police custody.

The horror unfolded on the night of July 3. The victims were coming back from spending the evening in the Ortigia-section of the town and were in the marina-area when they were approached.

The attackers were on a scooter. According to reports in Sicily, the victims were trying to use a cigarette vending machine but were unable because Italian machines require the purchaser to have a national ID in order to verify the age. 

The two US citizens were separated as one of the boys offered the use of a card. That’s when the attacks happened.

The attack here, in the city of Siracusa, on the island of Sicily

The attack here, in the city of Siracusa, on the island of Sicily 

Italian police arrested the two men in a pair of dawn raids on the morning of July 5

Italian police arrested the two men in a pair of dawn raids on the morning of July 5

One of the women was attacked close to the marina, the other is thought to have been brought back to a house where the same fate befell her.

Both victims went straight to the police the morning after being attacked. An investigation was launched by Siracusa’s vice squad who quickly identified the two men. 

They were arrested at dawn on the morning of July 5, charged with aggravated sexual assault, and taken to a local jail. 

The victims are both in Italy for studying purposes. A statement from the prosecutor’s office said that the attackers took advantage of the two women’s lack of Italian in order to engineer their attack.  

The accounts of the two women were backed up by witness statements as well as the investigations that took place at the scenes, reports Corriere Del Mezzogiorno.

The US Department of State currently has Italy under a level two travel advisory, meaning travelers should exercise ‘increased caution,’ for US citizens but due to the possibility of increasing terrorism, not because of crime. 

In April, a Canadian woman was raped in Palermo, Sicily’s largest city, at the B&B where she was staying.  

The victim reportedly told police she had met one of the two men, who was a hospital porter, while she was visiting her boyfriend in the hospital after he suffered a minor injury.

She told officers she and the porter began talking and she invited him back to her bed and breakfast. The tourist described him as ‘very nice’ but ‘after a certain point I can’t remember anything,’ she reportedly said, according to ANSA.

In 2019, an American woman was lured from a bar by three Sicilian men and viciously gang raped in a nearby parking lot. The three attackers were sentenced to four years in prison after appealing their initial seven year sentences. 

Last month, two Italian soccer players, Mattia Lucarelli, son of Italian left-wing soccer icon Cristiano, 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.  

 

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