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Austria: 17 teenagers charged with sexual harassment of a 12-year-old girl

Seventeen teenagers are suspected of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Austria “several times a week over several months” and filming or photographing their actions, the police said on Friday.

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The incidents took place in a disadvantaged neighborhood in the south of Vienna “between February and June 2023, in stairwells, toilets, a garage, in the hotel or at the perpetrators' homes,” a police officer told the press. , Florian Finda.

The suspects, who are predominantly minors, are of Syrian, Turkish, Italian, Bulgarian and Serbian origin. Two of them are under 14 years old and not guilty of a crime.

Almost all of them are known to the police for other crimes; they are accused of various sexual offenses and producing images of sexual assaults on minors.

Thirteen of them were heard on Thursday and some of them dispute the facts.

The defendants and the victim of Austrian nationality met through one of the teenagers, with whom the young girl initially exchanged affection. Then she came into contact with the other boys.

They shared videos of the crimes committed on social networks, with one of them suspected of threatening to broadcast images if the victim refused. However, according to police, none of them were distributed online.

Fearing reprisals, the young girl remained silent before finally confiding in her mother in October, who immediately filed a complaint. According to the police, his protection is guaranteed.

The investigation must be handed over to the public prosecutor, who will be responsible for solving this case, which is extremely rare in this country with low crime rates.