Eight Iraqi asylum seekers have been handed prison sentences of between nine to 13 years by an Austrian court for the gang rape of a German woman in Vienna on New Year’s Eve 2015.
Eight of the nine Iraqi asylum seekers accused of gang raping an intoxicated German woman in Vienna on New Year’s Eve in 2015 have been sentenced. The attackers came to Austria between May and December 2015 through the now closed Balkan migrant route and raped the 28-year-old German victim for two hours, Austrian newspaper Die Presse reports.
The attack occurred in an apartment on Rustenschacherallee street in Vienna’s second district, home of the famous Prater Ferris wheel and the Pater amusement park. Four of the asylum seekers are said to have found the woman intoxicated and brought her back to the apartment where the nine men took turns having sex with her as she lay defenceless.
The asylum seekers involved were aged between 22 and 48 years old and are mostly all related by marriage or blood. Only one of them, a 27-year-old, gave a comprehensive confession to the rape and received a 10-year sentence. The youngest member of the group, a 22-year-old, received the lightest sentence at nine years.
Prosecutor Karina Fehringer said the case was clearly rape of a defenceless woman which Judge Petra Poschalko agreed with finding eight guilty counts of sexual abuse. The judgements are not final as the defendants still have an opportunity to appeal the ruling.
Prosecutor Fehringer said the ordeal was a “nightmare” for the victim and that she had been the victim of a “two-hour torture”. She also noted how only one of the men had actually shown any sort of remorse for their actions.
The asylum seekers claimed in their defence the 28-year-old woman had given them “mixed signals” which the prosecutor slammed asking if intoxication meant automatic consent to the men. The lawyer for the victim also told the court that as a result of the incident, the woman now has problems with intimacy and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
If the conviction is not successfully appealed, the migrants could face possible deportation, though it is not guaranteed. A migrant who raped an elderly woman last year in Austria was not deported despite being convicted of his crime.
The case is also not the first time a woman in Vienna has been the target of rape by multiple asylum seekers. Shortly before the first round of the Austrian presidential election last year, a woman was attacked and raped in a bathroom near the Prater park – the same district as the New Year’s Eve attack.
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