Saturday, April 21, 2012

Portugal: Danish Tourist, 30, Raped by Truck Driver, Assailant Arrested, Charged

Portuguese police have arrested a married truck driver, Marco Rebelo, 30, in connection with the assault and rape of a Danish tourist, 24, who picked the tourist up after she was observed hitchhiking on her way to Lisbon on Monday (April 16).

The victim was found ate Monday night Monday near a gas station in the town of Alto da Serra, attempting to get help from passers-by. Fortunately, she was able to give police the truck driver's license tag number, which enabled officers to later arrest the assailant.

COMMENT: The victim and a group of her friends had arrived in Oporto a few days prior to the incident. She decided to go off on her own, and ended up hitching a ride with Rebelo. Instead of driving her toward Lisbon, though,the assailant stopped his truck in a deserted area and raped her.

Additionally, she suffered blows to her head, forehead and neck as she resisted her rapist's advances, who prevailed in overpowering her.

A forensic examination also confirmed that she had been raped. DNA comparative analysis is underway.

As I have said on numerous occasions in the past, hitchhiking is never a good idea, even in Western Europe. It is far better to pay for safe transportation than to risk becoming a victim of violent crime. Rebelo was remanded into custody pending prosecution.

Unfortunately, young adults are convinced they will never become victims.

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