The following article gives an account of an alleged gang-rape by Moroccan squatters in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Barcelona.
Many thanks to Pampasnasturtium for translating this report from the Catalonian daily La Vanguardia:
One of the suspects in the rape of a girl in Sabadell had already molested her in a discotheque
- This Monday the regional police (‘Mossos’) are conducting several rounds of questioning with the six detainees
- A seventh person has been arrested for the gang rape in Sabadell
- Those arrested are being questioned concerning an alleged gang rape in Sabadell
by Mayka Navarro, Sabadell
February 4, 2019
[Photo caption (not shown): Industrial unit where the alleged group sex assault was committed in Sabadell]
One of the six men arrested last Sunday in Sabadell, accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old girl, had already accosted and molested the victim in a discotheque on the ‘Zona Hermética’ industrial estate, where they had encountered each other. The woman declared, first to the municipal police where she filed the complaint, and after that to the regional police (‘Mossos d’Esquadra’), that she did not know the man beforehand at all, but that he had been molesting her in the venue where they happened to meet.
Once the discotheque closed, where the victim had gone in the company of a group of friends to celebrate one of their birthdays, the woman left in the company of at least one of her friends. According to what several sources who follow the investigation explained to La Vanguardia, the girl was feeling anxious due to the harassment she had suffered during the early hours of the morning from that man, and she wanted to be escorted for part of her way back home. As the woman was left to continue alone, the man who had bothered her approached her and took her to the abandoned plot where some of those arrested, all of them Moroccans between the ages of 19 and 53, lived as squatters in conditions that were far from optimal.
The rest of the story has already been published. The woman reported being sexually assaulted by at least three men, while the other three were at the site, but did nothing to prevent it. The victim managed to escape and was helped by some passers-by who found her on the street, with her coat on, some of her clothes in one hand, and in a state of shock, according to several sources. These passers-by escorted the woman to a medical attention center where she was assisted, and after that she went to the municipal police, where she filed a complaint.
Last Sunday local police went to the spot identified by the victim, and there the agents arrested six men, the three alleged perpetrators and the other three who did not prevent the rape. For the whole day (Sunday) those arrested remained within the local police headquarters, and it wasn’t until 11:30 that evening that those arrested and the first police reports were sent to the Investigation Unit of the regional police’s station in Sabadell, which has continued the investigation this Monday.
This morning detectives have once again requested testimony from the six detainees in order to try to identify the responsibility of each of them in the alleged rape. Those arrested were included several rounds of identification where both the girl and some of the friends who were with her that night took part, in order to confirm the girl’s statement, who claimed to have been bothered earlier by one of the perpetrators.
Regional police expect to end all procedures this Monday and Tuesday (the arrested) will be brought before the judge. Detectives wholeheartedly believe the victim’s account.
Neighbors alerted (the authorities) of the industrial unit’s deterioration
On Sunday, Sabadell’s mayor, Maties Serracant, stated his “most stern condemnation of the sexual aggression” via his Twitter account, and communicated that the victim will receive the needed counseling and assistance through the local council’s women’s support services. In several tweets, Sabadell’s town council has guaranteed that the necessary legal arrangements will be made to combat this kind of attack.
The president of the Neighbors Assembly of Sabadell’s Can Feu borough, Carme Farràs, stated this Monday that they had alerted the municipal authority about the degradation of the area where the industrial unit (where the sexual assault was committed) is located.
In a public press release, Carme Farràs pointed out that this (disused) factory has been occupied for a long time by ‘strange and frightening people’, and declared that they were responsible for some incidents, such as thefts against local residents.
Complaints about an industrial unit that built up filth
‘Many times they’d start a fire’ [translator’s note: for cooking or heating] inside the factory building, she revealed, and added that a few days ago official complaints were made to the district’s representatives because of the squalor of the area, especially the filth accumulated in front of this industrial unit, located on Germans Farguell Street.
Specifically, last January 21st, at about 11:30pm, several divisions of the regional government’s firemen, regional and local police went to the site of the disused factory to put out a fire and aid eight persons who were inside of it, a fire that started from a bonfire that they themselves had set up and that got out of control. None of the occupants was hurt.