Almost as if it was bound to happen, a Somali and an Afghan refugee have taken their chance to go into hiding after being discharged from a court in St. Pölten, Austria. They were accused of raping a 15-year-old girl on 25th April 2017. The girl told the court that three men were after her when she was on her way from the train station to the secure flat of her father, when she was knocked down by the trio who then preceded to rape her multiple times. The trio consisted of the Somali, the Afghan and someone that is still unknown. In hospital, scratch marks and traces of sperm were found as evidence on the helpless girl’s body. After several DNA tests, the two asylum seekers, living in Tulln, were determined as the rapers. Now, they are nowhere to be found.
Even though the evidences were clear, the court couldn’t decide on a verdict, so they let them go. This happened even though the lawyer of the girl explicitly told the jury that the risk of them fleeing was very high. That lawyer is also a former FPÖ politician, which, of course, caused an outrage in Austrian media.
Aside from this, the Somali was bound to be deprived from his status as asylum seeker since 2017 and now has the status of a subsidiarily protected. Even though rape is a highly increasing crime in Europe, it doesn’t seem to get the attention of the courts – on the contrary, they don’t even believe the women most of the time. Because of minor discrepancies, in this case most likely caused by the trauma of the 15 (!) year-old girl, such court cases are suspended or cancelled 90 per cent of the time and end up with the person accused of rape being discharged, according to a lawyer who has been working with rape victims for years.