Two US Student Friends Sexually Assaulted in Italy after Being Split by Pair of Attackers While Walking Back Home after Night Out

The suspects were arrested at dawn on July 5, charged with aggravated sexual assault, and taken to a local jail.

Two American students were raped after being split up by sly assailants, aged 18 and 19, while on their way back to their hotel in the Sicilian city of Siracusa. The suspects, identified as locals, are currently in police custody.

The incident occurred on the night of July 3. According to reports, the victims were returning from an evening in the Ortigia section of town and were near the marina when they were confronted. The attackers were riding a scooter. Reports from Sicily indicate that the victims were trying to use a cigarette vending machine but were unsuccessful, as Italian machines require a national ID to verify the purchaser's age.

Raped and Dumped

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The two American citizens were separated when one of the boys offered to use a card. It was at this moment that the attacks occurred. One woman was raped near the marina, while the other was reportedly taken to a house where she suffered the same fate.

Both victims reported the incidents to the police the following morning. Siracusa's vice squad launched an investigation and swiftly identified the two suspects.

The suspects were arrested at dawn on July 5, charged with aggravated sexual assault, and taken to a local jail.

Both victims are in Italy for their studies. According to a statement from the prosecutor's office, the attackers exploited the two women's lack of Italian language skills to orchestrate their attack.

The women's accounts were corroborated by witness statements and investigations conducted at the scenes, according to Corriere Del Mezzogiorno.

Not Safe in Italy

Sexual Assault
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The US Department of State currently has Italy under a level two travel advisory, advising US citizens to exercise 'increased caution' due to the potential for terrorism rather than 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 visiting her boyfriend in the hospital after he sustained a minor injury.

She told officers that she and the porter started talking and she invited him back to her bed and breakfast. Describing him as "very nice," she said, "after a certain point, I can't remember anything," according to ANSA.

In 2019, an American woman was lured from a bar by three Sicilian men and brutally gang-raped in a nearby parking lot. The attackers had their sentences reduced from seven years to four years after an appeal.

Last month, two Italian soccer players, Mattia Lucarelli, son of famed 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.