Two suspects were arrested on Monday (May 30) afternoon for the alleged gang-rape and assault of a 16-year-old girl by over 30 men in Rio de Janeiro which has shocked the nation.
Rai de Souza, 22, turned himself in at the Police Precinct for the Protection of Children and Adolescents, and professional soccer player, Lucas Perdomo Duarte was arrested in a restaurant in downtown Rio.
Four others, one of them the head of the ruling drug trafficking gang in the slum where the incident happened, were identified as suspects but were said to be on the run.
The case has caused outrage throughout Brazil as a video of the incident was posted on Twitter by an alleged perpetrator, and was widely shared, with many comments blaming the victim.
The video showed the girl in a room with three men, being touched in ways that constitute rape under Brazilian law, Civil Police Chief, Fernando Veloso, told reporters on Monday. The men in the video speak of another gang-rape shortly before involving over 30 men, about which Veloso said the police were chasing further evidence.
The reported rape came to light in a video of the nude, semi-conscious youth, with a few men brazenly insulting the girl, showing their faces, and one man heard saying: “More than 30 impregnated her!” The Twitter account where the video was posted has been suspended.
Brazilian police say they have identified four of the 33 suspects wanted for their involvement in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl.
The case added to concerns about security in Rio and the political breakdown in Brazil as the city and country prepare for South America’s first Olympics starting on August 5.
Crime has fallen in recent years, but there has been an increase in homicides in recent months as Rio’s police department had its budget slashed during the country’s worst economic crisis since the 1930s .
The country is also going through a political crisis with its elected president, Dilma Rousseff, to undergo an impeachment trial in the Senate and an outbreak of the Zika virus has prompted health warnings and led top global health experts to advise that the Games be postponed or moved.
Story by Reuters