Two British rape victims had their drinks spiked before being assaulted at an Italian villa where one of the targets bit an attacker’s genitals, it has been claimed.
The teenage victims, who cannot be named, say they were subjected to an attack after going out to dance on the last night of their holiday Italian holiday, at a villa in the town of Marconia di Pisticci.
Local police said four men, reportedly aged between 19 and 23, have been arrested and held in custody over what a judge described as an attack involving ‘serious and brutal violence’.
Three other suspects are under investigation, while an eighth is yet to be identified.
One of the alleged attackers is said to have won the trust of the victims, who spoke no Italian, before taking advantage of them after they had drunk alcohol.
Italian media have reported that one of the young women told police she had felt ‘strange and very confused’ after drinking a gin and lemon drink she was given.
Surveillance footage released by police shows one of the girls being pushed by a group of males towards a dark corner behind a villa at around midnight on Monday, followed by three males with the other victim.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the alleged gang rape. Above, police officers are pictured taking a youth in custody
One of the girls is reported to have claimed she was pushed towards a car were there were at least five people in a ‘poorly lit’ area – and she was then hit and taken advantage of.
‘I told them to stop. I was shouting in English let me go. They took off their trousers and I tried to defend myself by biting the penis of one,’ she reportedly said, according to the Sun.
Police said the gang beat and raped the girls, who reported the attack at around 3.30am the next morning.
Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports one of the girls as saying: ‘I didn’t knowingly take any drugs but I think someone put something in my second drink because after I drank it I felt awful.’
She and her friend were then taken to close-by bushes in a field where they were raped, it is alleged.
‘A guy tried to record the whole scene with the phone, but I can’t tell if he managed to do it,’ one of the girls said, according to reports.
It comes following reports naming four of the Italian men accused of gang raping the British teenagers.
The men, aged between 19 and 23, were arrested following the alleged rape.
It is believed four others were involved in the alleged attack, which was described as a ‘brutal and extreme assault.’
Michele Massiello, 23, Giuseppe Gargano, 19, Alessandro Zuccaro, 21, and Alberto Lopatiello, 22, are being held in custody on suspicion of sexual violence and wounding, La Repubblica reported.
This frame grab made from video surveillance released by Italian police shows a group of people walking towards a dark corner of a garden of a villa
Another three individuals have reportedly been bailed.
Italian media described the men, who live in the town and reportedly gate-crashed the villa bash, as ‘well-known bullies and thugs’.
The victims confirmed the identities of their alleged attackers after seeing their social media profiles.
In a statement, one of the teenagers recalled ordering a drink before being offered another by a stranger she met at the party, reports say.
Urine samples have confirmed both victims were drugged in the alleged assault.
The girls were meant to fly home to return to school in England on the day after the alleged incident in an upmarket villa, in a region that is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations.
Pictured: Suspect Giuseppe Gargano
The uncle of one of the victims went to the party after the attack where guests begged him not to call the police or it would ‘ruin the party’, the Sun reports.
Angelo Onorati, a Matera prosecutor, said the arrests of the men were ordered because of the ‘brutality, severity and savagery of the violence committed, in devious ways, that could be repeated against other women’.
Investigators said that the girls attended the party with another female guest, but soon after they arrived they were approached by two of the suspects.
Authorities are investigating reports that a group of uninvited boys then forced their way into the party and allegedly attacked the girls.
‘On the night between 7-8 September, in Marconia di Pisticci, sexual violence was committed against two foreign minors who were at a party in a villa,’ local police said in a statement on Thursday.
‘The investigative unit of Matera police headquarters has begun investigations in coordination with the public prosecutor’s office.’
The two girls were reportedly punched and kicked before being raped by more than one person during the party.
News website Sassilive said the alleged attack took place in the early hours of last Monday, when ‘the girls were attacked by a herd of eight boys behind a bush near the place where the party took place’.
The teenagers were able to make it back to their accommodation, where they told the female guest about what had happened.
Police were alerted and the two girls were then rushed to a hospital in Matera, around 40 miles away.
Pictured left: 22-year-old suspect Alberto Lopatriello. Right: 21-year-old suspect Alessandro Zuccaro
Four people have been arrested after the alleged rape of two British girls. The assault occurred at a villa in the small seaside town of Marconia di Pisticci in southern Italy (pictured)
The pair were treated for shock and were found to have marks on their bodies. They have since been discharged from hospital, according to reports.
A lawyer for the girls, Giuseppe Rago, said the alleged violence committed against them was ‘unprecedented’.
‘They are girls with a strong character, they have been heartened by their families and are confident in the work of justice.
They hope to soon recover and forget what happened … we would never have thought that such wickedness could happen here,’ he told Adnkronos news agency.
The 12,000 residents of Marconia are in deep state of shock, according to local paper La Gazetta Del Mezzogiorno which called it an ‘extremely shameful’ case.
Viviana Verri, the mayor of the town, said in a statement: ‘This is the moment in which the spirit of our community must emerge strongly, a healthy community that cannot and must never get used to such episodes.
‘For this reason [witnesses] cannot afford to keep silent [and must] help investigators to put an end to this affair.’
A fast-track trial is due to take place next week and family members of the teenagers have flown out to be with them to attend.
The men involved deny the allegations.