Four culture-enriching “youths” have been arrested for gang-raping a 16-year-old girl in the Austrian city of Linz. And these really are youths, as a matter of interest: none of the alleged perps is over the age of 15.
“I didn’t do anything”
Girl raped: Fourth suspect in custody
April 1, 2022
Now all are under arrest. Two days after the gang rape at the Linz train station, the fourth and final suspect has surrendered. The 15-year-old Afghan went to the police in Vöcklabruck. The other three suspects were transferred to the Linz prison Friday night. One was silent concerning the accusation, the other three claim it involved “consensual” sexual acts. According to the public prosecutor, the victim’s charges against the boys will be massive. From the FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, Austrian Freedom Party): they are “speechless” and “deeply affected”; the Green (party) condemns the “disgusting act” and demands a “harsh punishment with no ifs and buts”.
Four youths reportedly attacked the 16-year-old German near the Linz train station. Officers from the Alien Police became aware and intervened. The perpetrators fled. A bit later, three boys — two 15-year-old Afghans and a 14-year-old Iranian — were arrested. The police were already hot on the heels of the fourth perpetrator when he turned himself in! He admitted that he was the boy that the police were looking for, but said he “did nothing wrong.”
Suspects all known to authorities
The three other arrestees were delivered to the Linz prison on Friday night. The Linz Prosecutor’s Office has requested pre-trial custody for them, and the court should decide on Friday or Saturday. With young people, it is a bit more complicated; trustworthy people and translators are needed, according to the spokeswoman for the Prosecutor’s Office, Ukrike Breiteneder. None of the three have criminal records, but all are already known to authorities — for “minor crimes”, it was said.
One of the boys invoked his right to silence, explained Breiteneder; the other two claimed the sexual acts were consensual. The boys, however, have been clearly accused by the victim. It is reportedly “far from an attempt”; rather it involves “repeated, completed acts by different perpetrators” she clearly states. It is still uncertain how the crime took place and whether the perpetrators and victims were acquainted.
Facing up to 7½ years in prison
The sentencing range for a rape conviction for young people is up to five years. If the act results in a serious bodily injury— for example, in the form of a post-traumatic stress disorder — up to 7½ years. For adults, the punishment range is twice as high.
“Speechless and deeply affected”
The FPÖ security speaker for Upper Austria, Sabine Engleitner-Neu was “speechless and deeply affected”. She took the act as an opportunity to call for preventive measures: “Who are the perpetrators? Were there warning signs? How can such crimes be prevented in the future? — These questions demand quick answers,” says Engleitner-Neu. More financial resources are needed for measures to protect against violence.
The Green Party women’s spokesperson in the regional government, Dagmar Engl, warned against politically exploiting “this disgusting act”. “The perpetrators should be severely punished with no ifs and buts. This act is also at the expense of efforts in integration. It hurts all the refugees from crisis countries who behave themselves in an orderly and law-abiding manner.” Deputy Governor Manfred Heimbuchner (FPÖ) had already made it clear on Thursday that he is not prepared to keep these dangerous people here or feed them at taxpayers’ expense.