Turkish court releases accused rapists on grounds that victim appeared older
Hürriyet photoA court in Ankara has released seven of 10 men accused of raping two minors after concluding one of the victims looked more mature than her actual age.
Two minors, 12-year-old A.U. and 14-year-old C.Y., who occasionally ran away from home, were allegedly raped by 10 men 13 times, according to prosecutors in the case, daily Cumhuriyet reported today.
The indictment in the case said the two victims were first raped in January by an elevator mechanic and an unemployed man they met after getting drunk.
The prosecutor also alleged that the elevator mechanic abused A.U. more than one time between January and June.
On another occasion, the two minors were allegedly raped 10 times between Oct. 3 and Oct. 6, the indictment also said.
During the case’s first hearing, C.Y. claimed she was willing at the time of intercourse with three of the suspects while denying any relationship with the other seven. A.U. was not present at the hearing.
Despite the girls claiming they were willing to have intercourse with some of the suspects, the prosecutor said “their willingness has no legal meaning, as they are below age of 15.”
However, the Ankara court released the seven suspects who were jailed pending trial, but ordered the continued detention of the three suspects against whom C.Y. filed charges.
None of the 10 defendants admitted the accusations, claiming they brought the two girls home only to help them, denying that they engaged in any sexual intercourse.
One of the suspects defended himself, saying, “One of them looked 19 or 20 years old, the other looked like she was 22 or 23.”
“They lied to us about their age,” another said.
The panel of judges hearing C.Y. during the trial also recorded, “The victim has been observed to look like a 17- or 18-year-old girl who completed her puberty development.”
An expert psychologist was present during the hearing and said C.Y. had manipulative behavior and needed psychiatric and physiological treatment to prevent these kinds of incidents.
Yenimahalle Public Hospital also said A.U.’s sanity had been damaged after the sexual assaults, but observed no damage in C.Y.’s mental health.