16-Year-Old Gang Rape Victim Taken Into State Protection in Siberia

A 16-year-old student in Novosibirsk has been placed under state protection after alleged gang rapists attempted to sway her from testifying against them, local media reported Monday.

The girl, a student from Kemerevo, is gearing up to testify against four of her accused rapists over an incident that occurred on Sept. 23 in the Leninsky district of Novosibirsk, according to online news portal Sib.fm.

The victim will receive state protection for the duration of the trial against the four men accused of raping her, aged between 14 and 20, and the alleged perpetrators will remain in police custody, online news portal Sib.fm cited Dmitry Piunov, a prosecutor's aide, as saying Monday.

"Considering all the circumstances and the severity of the crimes committed, the court has issued a ruling to take all the suspects into custody. The term of their pretrial detention will last for two months," Piunov was cited as saying.

The prosecutor's aide noted that the defendants' friends and family were pressuring the victim to drop the charges — a factor that contributed to the court's decision to offer her state protection.

"People concerned about the fate of their loved ones who are currently in detention want the girl to retract her testimony. They are putting all possible psychological and moral pressure on her," Piunov said in comments to Sib.fm.

After the attack, the suspects allegedly uploaded photos of the incident to social media with taunting comments, the report said. The men claimed that drugs had been involved and that the victim had been under the influence at the time of the incident, according to the report.

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