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Identification line-up ordered by judge investigating four men detained, under suspicion of an alleged group sexual assault last Friday

Identification line-up ordered by judge investigating four men detained, under suspicion of an alleged group sexual assault last Friday

On the basis of a victim statement and her descriptions given on Sunday, four arrests were made this Sunday/Monday by the Guardia Civil. The four men detained, under suspicion of the alleged group sexual assault last Friday in Puerto Rico, Mogán, this Wednesday afternoon will form part of an identification line-up, whereby the complainant, thought to be a 36-year-old Nordic woman (initially reported as Irish) who, according to sources who know the family, lives on Gran Canaria, though some reports have suggested she is a tourist. The titular magistrate of the Court of Instruction number 3 in San Bartolomé de Tirajana decreed this course of action this morning before sitting to decide on the way forward for the investigation.  It appears the judge wants clarification on whether these are the same individuals as were described by the victim in her initial complaint.

The men were listed only by their initials (usual in an ongoing investigation) as RE, 23 years old, AL, 21, HE, 20, and ME, 21 all of Maghreb (North African) origin who were detained on Sunday or Monday, and then this Wednesday appeared before the main southern courts, to be placed at the disposal of the judicial authorities. The magistrate in charge has taken their statements who has now ordered their participation in an identification line-up, so as to later issue a corresponding order.

identification line-upThe four men – who arrived by boat and were subsequently expelled from the temporary accommodation centres – were arrested as alleged perpetrators of a sexual assault in events that reported to have occurred in the Agua La Perra barranco. One of the detainees has reportedly been identified as having been previously accused in a similar incident and according to Guardia Civil sources, close to the case, as the suspected perpetrator of this sexual assault with the remaining three also accused of participating in it.  Each member of the group could therefore be facing four separate counts of sexual assault, one for participation, and one for each member of the group they were part of.

Editor’s Comment:

The woman, who has not been identified, although is known within the neighbourhood community, had been on a night out, according to local sources,  and a friend “dropped her off at home after.”.  It is not yet clear how or why she then later allegedly ended up being attacked in the park, nor whether she was approached or herself engaged the men in conversation prior to an assault having occurred.  Of course none of that should matter, but it is important for establishing a timeline for the incident. The investigation will seek to show exactly what occurred on the night of Friday February 26 2020, the migrant men, suspected to have been  rough sleepers, will be afforded the full protection of the law while the case is deliberated.  The identification line-up will give the alleged victim an opportunity to positively confirm that the men arrested were the ones referred to in her statements, and then allow for a decision to be made as to how to best proceed with the case.  One major difficulty could well be the amount of time that elapsed between the victim’s report to the police, 36 hours or more after the alleged incident, which could have hindered the collection of meaningful medical evidence of what happened.  The investigation continues.

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