Four Italian men accused of gang raping two British teenagers at a party where guests begged one of the girls’ uncle ‘not to call the police’ have been named.
The men, aged between 19 and 23, were arrested following the alleged rape of the girls, both 15, in Marconia di Pisticci, southern Italy on Monday.
It is believed four others were involved in the alleged attack, which was described as a ‘brutal and extreme assault.’
Michele Massiello, 23, Giuseppe Gargano, 19, Alessandro Zuccaro, 21, and Alberto Lopatiello, 22, are being held in custody on suspicion of sexual violence and wounding, La Repubblica reported.
Pictured: 22-year-old suspect Alberto Lopatriello
Pictured: 21-year-old suspect Alessandro Zuccaro
Another three individuals have reportedly been bailed.
Italian media today described the men, who live in the town and reportedly gate-crashed the villa bash, as ‘well-known bullies and thugs’.
The victims confirmed the identities of their alleged attackers after seeing their social media profiles.
In a statement, one of the teenagers recalled ordering a drink before being offered another by a stranger she met at the party, the Sun reported.
Pictured: Suspect Giuseppe Gargano
Urine samples have confirmed both victims were drugged in the alleged assault.
One of the girls said: ‘I didn’t knowingly take any drugs but I think someone put something in my second drink because after I drank it I felt awful.
‘I told them to stop. I was shouting in English let me go. They took off their trousers and I tried to defend myself by biting the penis of one.
‘I saw that one of them was trying to film it on his phone.’
The girls were meant to fly home to return to school in northern England on the day after the alleged incident in an upmarket villa, in a region that is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations.
The uncle of one of the victims went to the party after the attack where guests begged him not to call the police or it would ‘ruin the party’, the Sun reports.
Angelo Onorati, a Matera prosecutor, said the arrests of the men were ordered because of the ‘brutality, severity and savagery of the violence committed, in devious ways, that could be repeated against other women’.
Investigators yesterday said that the girls attended the party with another female guest, but soon after they arrived they were approached by two of the suspects.
Authorities are investigating reports that a group of uninvited boys then forced their way into the party and allegedly attacked the girls.
‘On the night between 7-8 September, in Marconia di Pisticci, sexual violence was committed against two foreign minors who were at a party in a villa,’ local police said in a statement on Thursday.
This frame grab made from video surveillance released by Italian police yesterday shows a group of people walking towards a dark corner of a garden of a villa
‘The investigative unit of Matera police headquarters has begun investigations in coordination with the public prosecutor’s office.’
The two girls were reportedly punched and kicked before being raped by more than one person during the party.
News website Sassilive said the alleged attack took place in the early hours of Monday, when ‘the girls were attacked by a herd of eight boys behind a bush near the place where the party took place’.
The teenagers were able to make it back to their accommodation, where they told the female guest about what had happened.
Police were alerted and the two girls were then rushed to a hospital in Matera, around 40 miles away.
The pair were treated for shock and were found to have marks on their bodies. They have since been discharged from hospital, according to reports.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the alleged gang rape. Above, police officers are pictured taking a youth in custody
Four people have been arrested after the alleged rape of two British girls on the night of September 7. The assault occurred at a villa in the small seaside town of Marconia di Pisticci in southern Italy (pictured)
A lawyer for the girls, Giuseppe Rago, said the alleged violence committed against them was ‘unprecedented’.
‘They are girls with a strong character, they have been heartened by their families and are confident in the work of justice.
They hope to soon recover and forget what happened … we would never have thought that such wickedness could happen here,’ he told Adnkronos news agency.
The 12,000 residents of Marconia are in deep state of shock, according to local paper La Gazetta Del Mezzogiorno which called it an ‘extremely shameful’ case.
Viviana Verri, the mayor of the town, said in a statement: ‘This is the moment in which the spirit of our community must emerge strongly, a healthy community that cannot and must never get used to such episodes.
‘For this reason [witnesses] cannot afford to keep silent [and must] help investigators to put an end to this affair.’
A fast-track trial is due to take place next week and family members of the teenagers have flown out to be with them to attend.
The men involved deny the allegations.