Brazil gang rape: 7 charged in attack on teen last month

Story highlights

  • The rape of the 16-year-old last month sparked outrage
  • Video of the attack was posted on social media

(CNN)Brazilian authorities charged seven people in the brutal gang rape of a teenage girl in a Rio de Janeiro slum, state media reported.

The rape of the 16-year-old in a building on May 21 sparked outrage after a 38-second video emerged on Twitter .
    It showed the victim naked and unconscious while male voices bragged about "at least 30" people having sex with her.
    Police indicted the seven suspects on charges including statutory rape, and production and release of pornographic material with a minor, Agencia Brasil reported.

    Suspects' cellphones

    Investigators told state media that experts went through the suspects' cellphones to help determine the charges. In addition to footage of the attack, the suspects also recorded video of themselves plotting what to tell the police, state media reported.
    If found guilty, police commissioner Cristiana Bento said, the suspects will get "exemplary sentences."
    "It should serve as an example for society, which must no longer see women as a thing, but rather someone who should be respected," Bento told state media.
    "Having sex with a teenager or woman who is not conscious and is in no condition to offer resistance is a crime."

    'I was drugged'

    In an interview with CNN affiliate TV Record last month, the girl described a horrific attack .
    "I fell asleep and woke up in a completely different place, with a man under me, one on top of me and two holding me down, on my hands. Many people laughing at me, and I was drugged, out of it. Many people with guns, boys laughing and talking."
    The girl said public support has been crucial.
    "I knew there would be no justice, that I would be ashamed. In the first moment, I didn't even want to tell my mom," she said. "Now I am sure that if I was going through this alone, it would be much worse."
    The attack shocked Brazil and sparked outrage on social media and protests in various cities.
    In Rio de Janeiro, which will be hosting the Summer Olympics in August, protesters left red-stained clothes along the iconic Copacabana Beach after the attack.
    Police had said they are looking for at least 30 suspects.