Palermo rape, victim threatened and kidnapped: what happened

Palermo rape, victim threatened and kidnapped: what happened
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A vortex of endless violence has shaken the life of a girl from Palermo. First for a gang rape, news that had shocked and outraged her, then for the report of an even earlier attempt at violence, up until today, with threats and kidnapping, which ended with her being sent away to a protected facility.

The victim was a twenty-year-old who last year said she was the victim of a gang rape which led six people to trial and conviction. Now the Palermo Prosecutor’s Office and the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office have opened an investigation into private violence against a minor and her mother who were reported by the girl. A boy who, however, is apparently unrelated to the gang rape, but accused of another attempted sexual assault. The young woman a few months before the rape she had in fact said that she had suffered another attempt at sexual violence by a boy and managed to escape by spraying pepper spray at the attacker.

The girl’s words gave rise to criminal proceedings against the minor. Yesterday, according to the victim’s story, the boy and her mother tried to make her back down by threatening her and dragging her to the police. An investigation has been opened into the matter, which remains to be clarified, which suggests the crime of private violence.

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The reconstruction of the facts: the boy’s attack on his mother and the complaint
The girl was last night in Ballarò, with her current boyfriend, when she was approached by a boy and the latter’s mother. As mentioned, this is the young man who the girl reported for sexual abuse during the investigation but who has nothing to do with the seven involved in the alleged gang rape. She allegedly abused the young woman between the months of May and June 2023, therefore a month before the violence in the Foro Italico. The young man and her mother allegedly approached her girlfriend to order her to retract her complaint. Then, they would have forced the twenty-year-old to follow them to their home, a stone’s throw from Ballarò. The boyfriend couldn’t do anything, this is what she told the investigators. After a few hours the boy presented himself to the police to report what was happening. And in the night, mother and son, with the girl, showed up at the barracks where she should have recanted, according to the young man’s mother. Instead they found her boyfriend there who was reporting the kidnapping and the threats. They were listened to all night. Now the investigation is trying to shed light on what happened.

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The complaint also on social media: “Everywhere I go they shout my name and say bad words”

“Everywhere I go they shout my name, laughing or saying bad words,” the girl who was the victim of the gang rape at the Foro Italico in Palermo wrote on social media before the new threats and beatings she received last night from a boy and his mother. «I’m starting to get tired of everything and everyone – she writes dejectedly – how can I live a life without anyone really loving me? This is not life.”

The transfer to a secret location
“After the new attack against her, my client was taken to a secret location to keep her safe from further threats,” said lawyer Carla Garofalo, lawyer for the twenty-year-old victim of the July rape. Last night the young woman was threatened with a knife and dragged away, while she was in the company of her boyfriend in a bar in the historic center, by another boy who had also reported sexual violence, supported by his mother, with the aim of convincing her to recant the accusations. The story was confirmed by the girl’s lawyer, who however was unable to meet her client precisely because she was immediately taken away from Palermo for safety reasons. The young woman, immediately after the gang rape last July, was initially transferred to a protected community, but after some time she returned to the city, hosted by an aunt. Now the decision of the judiciary, which has opened a case of private violence against the boy and his mother who made the new threats, to transfer the twenty-year-old to a secret location.

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“Unfortunately, my phone was on silent and I only noticed the calls late,” the young woman’s lawyer specified. «There would have been private violence against her, which is why she tried to call me. One aspect now seems clear: there would not appear to be any connections between the violence suffered by the girl in the last few hours and the seven boys involved in the rape.

The reactions

Democratic Party senator Valeria Valente: «The attack suffered by Asia Vitale, who reported a gang rape in Palermo last July is very serious. A young man accused by her of another rape and his mother tried to induce her to recant by attacking her. It is precisely to prevent cases like this that precautionary measures must be used more and better: the victims of violence who report must be protected and must be able to return to a normal life and their tormentors must be put in a position not to do harm. Otherwise, since reporting can expose you to the risk of retaliation, women will no longer report. I add that it is the violent men and boys who must be removed from the victims, while the limitation of the victim’s freedom must be the last possibility, a decision taken in exceptional cases, when it is not possible to do otherwise”.

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