Three men have been arrested in Uppsala, Sweden over suspicions of gang rape. Local media report police were alerted after being tipped off that the crime was being streamed on Facebook.
The crime allegedly took place early Sunday morning, with the police reportedly receiving a tip-off around 9:00am.
Aftonbladet daily spoke to some of the members of the closed Facebook group in which the “aggravated rape” was reportedly broadcast live. Witnesses said the girl being gang-raped was close to unconscious at the time.
One of them, Lovisa, 22, says she came upon the page by accident while chatting online. What she saw shocked her, she said. “Two guys pushing down a girl on the bed… I first thought it was a poorly-orchestrated joke. But it was not.”
According to Lovisa, there were 200 people watching the video at one point, before the police suddenly arrived on the scene and the video stopped, followed by sounds of commotion in the room. The police questioned the men before taking them to the station, she said.
“It’s screwed, totally sick,” another member of the closed group told Expressen. “How can you do such a thing to a girl? And how can you do it live…?” It was not immediately clear how these members had received an invitation to the closed group.
The apartment is being examined by forensics specialists and the crime scene is closed off. Police spokesman Ivan Aslund told Aftonbladet the police will maintain “full confidentiality” at this time, declining to confirm anything further than the arrest over gang-rape suspicions.
Another person who had seen the stream told the newspaper: “At first I thought it was a poorly orchestrated joke.”
“The first thing you think is ‘how can you do such a thing to a girl? And how can you do it live when you know that you are going to go there?’” another said. “I think of course it is screwed, totally sick.”
The men arrested were born in 1992, 1996, and 1998, making them between 19 and 25, younger than their victim, who was born in 1986, making her about 31. According to Expressen, the eldest of the men has previous convictions for drugs and violent assault.
The Facebook group has also previously triggered a police investigation, when a group of school children sent a live broadcast in which they threatened to shoot another pupil.
The police stepped in My during the live broadcast, the doorbell rings. In the two police officers, apparently unaware of the live broadcast, start talking to the woman and the two other men in the apartment.
– Then turned to one of the officers at the camera and then broke the live broadcast, says Linda.
When the live broadcast went on, there were many who commented. Linda was one of those who was upset and called the police.
– I want the girl to know that we are many who stand up for her. This is not her fault, she says.