A British teenager was raped on board a cruise with her family — but a judge released the suspected attacker because it was on international waters.
The 17-year-old girl claimed the man forced her into his cabin before attacking her on the Panamanian-flagged vessel, The Sun reports.
She raised the alarm and cops arrested an 18-year-old Italian man when the ship docked in Valencia in Spain and he was taken to court.
The teenager said the 19-year-old accused attacker raped her in her cabin.Source:News Limited
But according to Valencia newspaper Levante-EMV, the teen was freed by a judge who concluded he did not have jurisdiction to probe the alleged attack.
Under reforms to Spanish law, the judge had to let the Italian man go because the alleged crime was committed by a foreigner on another foreigner in Panamanian territory and international waters.
It is now hoped the judge will urge three countries: Panama, Italy and the UK — where the complainant lives — to take action.
The teenager was holidaying with her family at the time. File image.Source:ThinkStock
The suspect is believed to have been released on Thursday night but his whereabouts are currently unknown.
The alleged attack is said to have taken place around 5am on Thursday, when the cruise liner was heading from Palma to Valencia.
It docked in Valencia around two and a half hours later and left just after 4pm for Marseilles without the suspect on board.
The alleged incident happened when the cruise was making its way to Valencia, Spain.Source:istock
The teenager was examined at Valencia’s La Fe Hospital with DNA tests carried out on the cabin where she was allegedly raped and on the clothes she was wearing at the time.
The UK Foreign Office said it was aware of the woman’s case.
“Our consular staff are providing support and assistance to a British woman and her family following an incident on board a cruise ship,” it said.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Source: Read Full Article