An Austrian court found eight immigrants from Iraq guilty of a collective rape of a tourist from Germany during the New Year’s celebration in Vienna.
The men were sentenced to prison terms of between nine and 13 years for “abuse of a defenseless person and rape in a very humiliating and agonizing way for the victim” that took place on the night of January 1, 2016. The ninth suspect also appeared before the court, but he was exonerated from blame, as investigators found that he was asleep during the assault.
The convicted men, between 22 and 48 years old, were arrested last summer in Vienna and two other Austrian provinces. All of them came to Austria as asylum seekers from May to December 2015. Five of them had gotten refugee status at the time of the assault, while the other four had their applications pending.
Their victim was 28-year-old woman. She got a compensation of €25,000 ($26,265). According to prosecutors, the woman still suffers from a post-traumatic shock.
The woman was celebrating New Year in the center of Vienna with her female friend, where she came from the northern German state of Lower Saxony. The woman got “separated” from her friend during the festivities. Reportedly, about 2 am, four drunk Iraqis brought her to an apartment in Vienna. Other five people were waiting for them there. All together they raped the woman by turn.
As prosecutors noted, the woman was very drunk and could not defend herself. When she was able to regain control of herself, she discovered that she was lying naked on the bed. The savage attack left the woman in need of medical and psychological treatment. “Nothing makes me happy anymore,” her lawyer quoted her words.
According to reports, only one of the perpetrators admitted the rape and showed some remorse, while others claimed that the sex had been “consensual” or have denied it altogether. The advocateship also tried to prove that the woman sent ‘erroneous signals’ to the accused men. According to prosecutors, this is not possible, as she was in an unconscious state. In addition, the investigating team managed to prove the assault with DNA and video evidence.
The both sides are going to submit an appeal against the court’s decision.
Migrants from other countries expressed their fear that such cases might incite hostility against them to a whole new level and condemned the attack. “Eight people raping a woman – that’s honor-less! Such a thing doesn’t exist in our religion,” a migrant from Turkey, Burhan Akbas, told the AP news agency.