Twelve Israeli teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of gang-raping a 19-year-old British woman at a holiday resort in Cyprus.
The group – many of whom are believed to be minors – were arrested yesterday morning after the 19-year-old, who has not been named, filed a complaint to local police in which she claimed to have been raped at her hotel in Aya Napa, a resort town in Cyprus.
The teens appeared in court today for a remand hearing, with the local court ruling they could be held in custody for another week pending further investigation. The woman is currently undergoing medical examinations.
According to a report by Ynet, the court documents noted that signs of distress were found on the woman’s body: “The victim had scratches on her lower limbs. According to our estimates, the scratches are a result of trauma.”
The woman had reportedly attended a party with one of the suspects on Tuesday night, agreeing to go to his hotel room in the early hours of the morning, Ynet reported, citing Cypriot media. She claims that, once inside, 11 other teens entered the room and proceeded to rape her, holding her down and filming the assault while she screamed.
A statement by Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the teens’ arrests, saying that “the Israeli consul in Nicosia, Yossef Wurmbrand, is following the situation and is in contact with those who have been detained.”
Wurmbrand added that Israeli officials are “working according to the local authorities’ instructions. We are in constant contact with the authorities, and once we have more information we will publish it.”
Meanwhile the boys’ lawyer, Yaniv Habari, told Israeli daily Haaretz that the accused are “in a good mood”, but did not comment on whether they deny the accusations.
It is thought the teens were on holiday at the popular tourist resort before beginning their military service in the Israeli army. The Jerusalem Post reported that three of the 12 Israelis have admitted to having consensual sex with the woman in question, while the other nine deny any involvement in the incident.
Israel’s Channel 12 reported, however, that local police have found forensic evidence linking the teens to the scene of the alleged crime. Local police have stressed that the investigation is still in its early stages and more time is required to determine additional details.