A wheelchair-bound woman in a “state of paralyzation” claims she was raped by five men in Sweden, and the suspects were released because she didn’t physically resist.
Chaos has since erupted on the island of Gotland where locals protest the release of the five men. Police were forced to call in back up from the mainland to handle demonstrations and threats against the prosecutor and a local refugee shelter.
The alleged rape took place Oct. 1 after the woman shared a taxi with one of the suspects. She asked if she could use the man’s bathroom and followed him into his apartment. Several other men showed up at the residence and the woman claims she was subsequently raped.
The suspects admitted they had sex with the woman, but argue it was consensual. The woman’s attorney, Staffan Fredriksson, claims the woman said “no” to the situation and that she found herself in a state of paralyzation, which prevented her from physically resisting the alleged rape.
“She was paralyzed by the situation and didn’t have it in her to physically resist,” Fredriksson told newspaper Aftonbladet.
The woman can walk short distances at her house, but uses a wheelchair to get around town.
Since there were no signs of physical resistance, and word stood against word, the prosecutor decided to release the suspects until further notice.
“It’s tragic that it has to be that way,” Fredriksson said. “Science shows that it isn’t uncommon for girls to get paralyzed and shocked in these situations because they’re scared to get even more hurt.”
The identities of the suspects have been sealed by police. Newspaper Expressen reports that a neo-Nazi group spread a video through social media where they point out five asylum seekers as the alleged rapists, without providing any further evidence.
A local refugee shelter is now under surveillance after a group of men attacked it with rocks. The prosecutor has also been subject to threats and even a home visit by a number of men.
“This is an extreme situation for Gotland,” Fredriksson told Expressen. “I’ve been in the justice system for 30 years and I’ve never experience anything like this.”
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