Monday, June 23, 2014

Nepal: Update--US Woman, Living in Nepal, Victim of Gang-Rape by 4 Assailants, Including Boyfriend

According to The International Business Times,  a 40-year-old US businesswoman, who had been living in Nepal on a business visa since 2013, was gang-raped by four local men in a hotel room in Kathmandu, the nation's capital, media reports said Monday (June 23), citing police.

The rape reportedly occurred at the Global Hotel in Thamel, a tourist district of Kathmandu, on June 14, a senior police official told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The victim, who had been living in Nepal since 2013, was in a relationship with a Nepali national, although he is a suspect as being one of the four men who raped his apparent girlfriend, SINA, a Chinese news agency, reported citing state-run Xinhua.

COMMENT: Other than new information coming to light that as many as four assailants participated in the gang-rape, including the boyfriend, the consideration that the victim had either been severely intoxicated and/or drugged, renders it a challenge for the rape victim to recall the horrific events she experienced.

Not knowing whether Kathmandu police had previously and promptly ordered blood studies that might reveal what substances were in her body at the time of the attack, may either complement or further complicate the  progress of the investigation.

If no blood studies were ordered by police shortly after the attack, any substances in her body at the time have long since dissipated.

Another large unknown is whether the US victim reported her gang-rape to the US Embassy in Kathmandu, the latter of which does have the "juice" to apply political pressure, although privacy may be more important to her than investigative progress.

What continues to be unknown is the names of the assailants and whether the boyfriend is among those in detention.

Senior Superintendent Pal, a spokesman for the police commissioner, said:

"The couple booked a room in Thamel [Kathmandu] and had a couple of drinks. According to the victim's statement, she was left alone in her room unconscious and was raped during the night."

Pal told AFP that the victim had spent the evening with the men “and they had been drinking.”

The group later went to the Global Hotel in the capital where she apparently passed out. When she awoke she realized that she had been gang-raped.

Two of the four suspects have reportedly been arrested, but deny that the participated in the rape of the victim. 

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.