herald

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Woman on holiday 'raped as she slept beside boyfriend'

Moncalieri in Italy
Moncalieri in Italy

A young Irish woman was allegedly raped in Italy while her boyfriend slept beside her.

The 18-year-old woman was in the Turin region for the annual Festival Irlandese Celtic festival on March 25 and 26.

She is reported to have been enjoying the celebrations with friends on Sunday when they met a group of Mongolian students.

The group reportedly returned to the Hotel Tulip Inn Hotel in Moncalieri.

According to newspaper La Stampa Torino, the young woman was sleeping beside her boyfriend with several others in the room when she woke up to find one of the Mongolian men sexually assaulting her.

After the incident, which occurred on March 27, the young woman went to the Holy Cross hospital in Moncton for medical treatment.

Clinical tests found no signs of violence and the hospital discharged the Irish woman a few hours later, according to the Italian publication.

A 22-year-old engineering student was arrested in connection with the incident on a charge of sexual assault.

He told police he had no memory of the incident and said he must have been sleepwalking at the time.

Four days after the incident, the investigating judge released the accused man on bail.

He is currently under house arrest while investigations are ongoing. No additional arrests have been made and it has not been established whether any of the other individuals present are under investigation.

It is understood the woman has since returned to Ireland.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it would not comment on the matter.

Discovered

The incident occurred just weeks after the remains of Danielle McLaughlin (28) were discovered in the holiday hot spot of Canacona in India.

Last year, the Department of Foreign Affairs advised female tourists to take care while abroad.

"Recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities show that foreign women are at risk," it said.

"Women travellers often receive unwanted attention in the form of verbal and physical harassment."

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