Finnish girl raped in central Rome

Mayor says Rome does not accept any kind of violence.

A 23-year-old man from Bangladesh has been arrested for the alleged rape, assault and robbery of a 20-year-old Finnish woman near Rome's central Termini train station.

The incident took place in the early hours of 9 September on the corner of Via Palestro and Viale Castro Pretorio after the man saw the Finnish woman looking for a taxi.

Claiming he had a car parked nearby he offered a lift to the girl, who had arrived in Rome a few days earlier to work as a babysitter. However as they walked he struck her with a rock before dragging her behind a parked bus where he allegedly raped her. After threatening to kill her, he robbed the girl of €40 and fled the scene.

Expressing solidarity with the victim, Rome mayor Virginia Raggi tweeted: "Rome does not accept any kind of violence."

The incident near Termini occurred less than 24 hours after the attempted sexual assault of a female American tourist, at 10.30 in the morning, in the city's Colle Oppio park opposite the Colosseum. The girl was saved by a passing Italian man who intervened after hearing her scream as she was dragged into a secluded area. Her aggressor, a man from the Ivory Coast, was subsequently arrested and taken to Regina Coeli prison.

The Colle Oppio park has been closed at night for the last 11 months after a homeless Romanian man was arrested for raping a 49-year-old Australian woman there last October.

Separately, Italian prosecutors are currently investigating claims that two American women, aged 19 and 21, were raped by two on-duty carabinieri police officers in Florence after accepting a lift home from a night out. The policemen, who have both been suspended, deny the allegations of rape. One officer has claimed he had "consensual" sex with one of the girls while the second officer has yet to be questioned by prosecutors.

Italian defence minister Roberta Pinotti has said: "Rape is always a serious matter. But it's of unprecedented gravity if committed by uniformed carabinieri." Former Italian premier and ex-mayor of Florence Matteo Renzi said that if charges of rape are proven it would constitute a "bloodcurdling" abuse of authority. The investigation continues.