Italy: Four arrested for alleged gang rape of two British teenage girls

Underage British tourists allegedly gang-raped by up to eight men in town near Matera.

Four men between the ages of 19 and 23 have been arrested in connection with the alleged gang rape of two 15-year-old British girls at a party in a villa near the southern Italian city of Matera in the early hours of 8 September.

Police say that three other men are being investigated, with a further suspect yet to be identified, in relation to the violent assault which involved "extreme brutality and savagery," according to investigators.

The teenage girls told police the alleged attack happened just after midnight at a rented villa in the town of Marconia di Pisticci, in the Basilicata region, about 60 km from Matera.

A judge said that tests showed the victims had been given drugs without their knowledge, reports Italian news agency ANSA, with the men "taking advantage" of the fact that the girls had been drinking.

The girls say they were forced into a dark corner of the villa's garden, where they were allegedly raped by eight men, with their screams drowned out by the loud music at the party, according to reports in Italian media.

The four arrested have been named as Michele Masiello (23), Alberto Lopatriello (22), Alessandro Zuccaro (21) and Giuseppe Gargano (19).

The four have been called on by Giuseppe Rago, the lawyer representing the victims' families, to "take responsibility for their actions and confess everything, including the names of the other rapists," ANSA reports.

Marconia mayor Viviana Verri said: ''We ask forgiveness, in the name of the town that we represent, to the victims and their families, who have had the strength to report what happened, allowing the investigators to catch the suspects quickly and setting an example of great courage to all people who are victims of violence."

Photo credit: Pradeep Thomas Thundiyil / Shutterstock.com.

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Italy: Four arrested for alleged gang rape of two British teenage girls

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