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martedì 5 novembre 2013
Facebook 'Rape Club' Investigated By Police
Police in New Zealand are investigating a gang of young men who boast online about getting underage girls drunk and then having group sex with them.
The group, calling themselves "Roast Busters" and who are said to be mostly aged in their late teens, have bragged about using social media to lure victims as young as 13, it is reported.
The men are also said to have named their alleged victims in videos posted on a Facebook page, which was taken down after it was the subject of media inquiries.
The case has raised concerns in New Zealand about tackling online bullying.
Prime Minister John Key branded the behaviour of the Auckland-based gang "abhorrent", but said it was difficult to prosecute without evidence.
Police said they are taking the issue seriously, and had been investigating the group for almost two years, including monitoring its Facebook page.
One underage girl, her identity obscured, told TV3 in New Zealand, that the group preyed on her after giving her so much alcohol she kept blacking out.
"You could say I got raped. I had sex with three guys at one time," she said.
Mr Key told reporters: "It's just extremely disturbing and disgusting behaviour and these young guys should grow up.
"It's very difficult to progress these issues if someone is unwilling to make a complaint and it's a very challenging position for a young woman to put herself in."
He said his government was introducing cyber-bullying laws that will allow police to prosecute internet users who attempt to sexually humiliate victims online.
The change comes after existing legislation was found to offered inadequate protection from online harassment, which can quickly go viral and have a devastating impact on victims, particularly teenagers.
But campaigners said that if the claims made by the gang were true, then its members should be charged with sexual assault of minors, not just online offences.
Greens MP and former sexual abuse counsellor Jan Logie said that if the Roast Busters amounted to a "rape club", then the justice system had to deal with it accordingly.
"If you need proof that there is something seriously wrong with how rape is talked about and prosecuted, look no further than the revelations about the Roast Busters rape club," she said.
Despite continuing inquiries, police said the case had stalled because victims were too traumatised to give evidence about what they had been through.
"We're hoping that somebody will be brave enough to make a complaint to us, formalise it," detective inspector Bruce Scott told Radio New Zealand.
"Once one young lady does, well we're hopeful that others will see that she's been brave enough and come forward as well."