Spain’s National Police force has arrested three men suspected of sexually assaulting three sisters from the United States on New Year’s Eve in the southeastern Spanish city of Murcia. The alleged victims, aged 23, 20 and 18, who are from Ohio, reported the incident to the authorities, sparking a manhunt that lasted around 24 hours until the suspects were detained.
Two of the women reported being raped vaginally, and the alleged attackers did not use condoms
The three women met the men in a pub on December 31, according to reports from local media outlet La Opinión de Murcia. One of the sisters left with one of the men to go to his house. The other two stayed in the bar until leaving with the remaining two men, headed to the apartment in which the women were staying and planning on continuing their New Year’s celebrations. In both cases, the women reported having been raped by the men, who, according to sources from the central government delegation in Murcia, are of Afghan origin.
After having reported the alleged sexual assaults, the women were given forensic examinations at the Hospital Virgen de la Arrixca in Murcia. According to La Opinón de Murcia, two of the women were raped vaginally, and the alleged attackers did not use condoms. As such, DNA evidence will potentially be able to back the women’s story. The third woman, the same newspaper reported, was not raped vaginally but was sexually assaulted and beaten.
The Spanish authorities examined security camera footage and interviewed witnesses in order to identify the three men, who were located together in a property. The men offered no resistance to arrest and, according to sources from the investigation, appeared surprised when the police arrived.
After being arrested, the men – who are aged between 20 and 25 – were taken to the cells of a police station. The three are facing charges for sexual assault, threats and battery.
The men offered no resistance to arrest and, according to sources from the investigation, appeared surprised when the police arrived
One of the sisters had been living in Murcia while studying at university, and was due to return on Thursday to the United States. The other two had been visiting their sister on vacation when the alleged assault took place.
According to sources from the investigation who spoke to state broadcaster RTVE, the three women were planning to maintain their travel plans and head back to the United States, leaving the case in the hands of their attorneys.
As well as offering help to the victims, the consulate section of the US Embassy is keeping in close contact with the Spanish police, according to a spokesperson from the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
English version by Simon Hunter.