2 US Students Accuse Italian Cops of Rape
The women say the cops offered to drive them home then assaulted them
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2017 10:51 AM CDT
The nightclub in Florence, Italy, is pictured where two Americans say partied before being driven home by police.   (Maurizio degl'Innocenti/ANSA via AP)

(Newser) – In a case that has shocked Italians, two American students are accusing two Italian national policemen of rape, ABC News reports. The women, 19 and 21, were leaving a disco early Thursday when they accepted a ride home from two Carabinieri paramilitary officers, who had responded to reports of a fight at the club. They say the cops raped them at their apartment building. Prosecutors will use DNA samples taken from the landing and elevator there to determine whether the cops had sex with the women, per the AP, but one cop says via his lawyer the sex was consensual and "she invited me to go upstairs." Prosecutors questioned the second cop for two hours on Tuesday; both have been suspended. Under Italian law, the women were incapable of giving consent if they were intoxicated.

Tests showed the women had indeed been drinking heavily, per the AP, and the women say they smoked marijuana, reports the New York Times. Officials appeared to lend support to the women's claims. Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti, who is in charge of the Carabinieri, says there appears to be "some basis" to the "extremely serious" allegations, per the Times and the AP. Police Chief Franco Gabrielli says, per ABC, that such cases "should be judged … with extreme severity." Former PM Matteo Renzi calls the incident "a blood-curdling use of the uniform." It's not the only case gripping the nation: the rape of a young Finnish woman over the weekend in Rome has triggered outrage, reports the AP. (An Italian judge released a rape suspect because the woman didn't scream.)

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