Arrests after the suicide of a young girl probably linked to rape

According to Belgian media, the five young people arrested have posted the video of the rape on social networks

C ‘is an’ excruciating ‘drama. There is no word for it, “according to Justice Minister Flemish Liberal Vincent Van Quickenborne. Five people have been arrested and brought to justice in Belgium after the suicide of a 14-year-old girl, which could be linked to a rape in mid-May followed by a broadcast of video images on social networks, reported Tuesday Belgian media.

The public prosecutor’s office in Ghent, Flanders, has confirmed the arrest of five young people, two adults and three minors, suspected of “events occurring shortly before the death of the victim”. However, he declined to comment on media reports claiming that an investigation has been opened for “rape”, “indecent assault” as well as “taking and disseminating images likely to undermine integrity”.

The victims incited to file a complaint

After their arrest “the two adults were imprisoned, and the three minors placed” in specialized institutions, simply indicated a communication officer from the prosecution. The Minister of Justice for his part promised that the culprits would be punished, and invited all victims of sexual violence to lodge a complaint and seek help from specialized professionals.

According to Flemish media, a teenage girl 14-year-old killed himself four days after being gang raped in a cemetery in Ghent in which his attackers filmed the scene. The footage was then disseminated on the Internet, which would have been the trigger for the suicide, according to the father of the teenager, whose testimony the Flemish daily Het Nieuwsblad collected. Thanks to the images released, investigators were able to trace the alleged assailants. According to the first elements of the investigation reported by several media, the teenager had traveled to Ghent thinking she was seeing only one friend. On his arrival at the meeting place, in a cemetery, this friend would then have been joined by four other young people, and the five would have participated in the attack.

Explosion of cases

Without mentioning a case of filmed rape, the Child Focus association noted a recent sharp increase in online attacks on the “sexual integrity” of minors (texting or abusive exchanges, dissemination of images not consented to, financial blackmail, etc.) . In 2020, thanks in particular to the first containment linked to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of open files on such cases jumped 65% compared to 2019, the association said.