Brasilia: Brazilian police say they have identified four of 33 suspects involved who allegedly participated in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl, which was filmed on a cellphone and then distributed on Twitter.
The sexual assault and the sharing on social media prompted a furious debate about attitudes toward women, rape culture and online psychological violence in the country.
The teenager told investigators that she had visited the home of her boyfriend on Saturday afternoon in a favela (slum) in Rio de Janeiro. She was briefly alone with him but said she remembered nothing afterward until she woke up naked the next day in another building.
She said she woke surrounded by dozens of men with guns. Her family said she returned home disturbed and dressed in men’s clothes, but did not speak about her ordeal. Two days later one of the men posted a 40-second video online, showing her naked and semi-conscious. Another man posted a picture of himself posing next to the girl’s exposed genitals. The images were rapidly distributed and got more than 500 “likes” before they were removed by Twitter.
Among those who saw the images were the girl’s horrified family. Local media quoted her grandmother as saying boyfriend felt she had cheated on him and had taken revenge. The teenager says she fears for her life.
Police have identified four of the 33 men involved and issued arrest warrants. Two others face charges related to distribution of the images online. A hotline set up for more information about the crime has received more than 800 calls.