For weeks the rumour did the rounds that something awful had happened to a girl in the Austrian town of Tulln. No information was forthcoming, but the rumour was real enough for the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) to announce it was preparing to ask questions in parliament. Since yesterday, however, the police have started giving out more information on the case – it claims this is because the police investigation now allows it.
The rumours were true.
Police have now confirmed that a fifteen-year-old girl, while on her way home, was dragged into the bushes and raped twice. Twice, because she managed to escape, but the suspects pursued her and raped her again. The girl reports that two men held her down, with one closing her mouth. It was only the next day she was able to tell a family member what had happened, and was subsequently taken to the hospital. According to the regional police force, the perpetrators are asylum seekers.
That is the reason why the St. Pöltener Public Prosecutor ordered nearly 60 DNA-samples to be taken: 34 from asylum seekers housed in shelters, and 25 from men who were housed with private persons. This sort of test is unusual in Austria, and it would take two weeks for the results to come in. Although the rape had taken place on the 25th of April, Police now claim the reason the case was given no publicity, was to make sure the suspects would not escape.
The police worked on the rape with great vigour, exerting pressure to get the tests done as soon as possible. On Tuesday a senior official confirmed that a 19-year-old Afghan was apprehended, as the evidence mounting against him was overwhelming. A second suspect, a 19-year-old Somalian, against whom there is DNA-evidence as well, is on the run. About the third suspect, relatively little is known.
In response to the news on Tuesday, mayor of Tulln Peter Eisenschenk (ÖVP) announced in a press release on Tuesday, that for the time being, no more refugees would be excepted in Tulln:
“for me, it is absolutely clear there is to be no tolerance for criminal asylumseekers, who abuse their status as guests. In the face of what these criminals have done to the girl, nothing but the full severity of the law will do.“