A court in Austria has heard that nine Iraqi immigrants gang raped a teacher during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Vienna.
The woman, 28, said she was drinking in a bar with a female friend but was apparently “taken away” by four men and led to an apartment where five more men were waiting to begin the “humiliating and agonizing” attack, which lasted for two hours.
The defendants in the case are aged 22 to 45 and are all related to each other. At the time of the alleged attack, which is said to have taken place on January 1, 2016, five of the men had refugee status while the asylum applications of the other four were pending.
After the alleged incident, one of the men led the woman – who is German – to a bathroom in the apartment and with his phone took a photo featuring both of them. She was later taken to a tram stop in central Vienna and subsequently hospitalized.
One defendant has pleaded guilty to rape. The others deny assaulting the woman. The court was told they feel “no guilt” despite the existence of DNA evidence. One claimed the woman had been “offered” to them by relatives while another said she was willing.
At about 3am the woman and her friend were drinking in a bar called Cactus when the victim disappeared. A witness in the bar reportedly said some men she had been talking with had “taken her away”.
The victim, who is said to have been drunk, then apparently found herself naked on a bed and being assaulted by the men. She shouted at them in German: “No, I don’t want this” and then in English: “Listen to me, just a little bit.”
Her alleged attackers spoke only in Arabic. She was assaulted in the dark so she could not identify them, according to her lawyer, Karina Fehringer. Medical experts said she was raped multiple times. She was not able to face her alleged attackers at the District Court of Vienna.
Only one defendant, named as Mohamed Al-A, aged 31, has admitted his role in the attack. He wept in court and said that although as a Muslim he did not normally drink alcohol, he had been “really drunk” on vodka on this occasion. He added: “This act is a crime in Iraq.”
He was in the Cactus bar with Nazar Al-J, Mohammed Al-T, and Alaa Al-J, who allegedly took the victim back to the apartment. The others – Hader Al-A, Mustafa Al-J, Nael Al-J, Marwan Al-J and Sabah Al-J – allegedly lay in wait there.
They face up to 15 years each in jail if convicted. The trial continues.