A 40-second video had surfaced on Twitter last week showing a semi-conscious 16-year-old Brazilian girl surrounded by men insulting her, while one man was heard saying "more than 30 impregnated her", reported BBC. The girl was allegedly gangraped by more than 30 men, who also videotaped the incident and posted it on the microblogging site. The incident sparked widespread uproar leading to a manhunt launched by the Rio de Janeiro police to find and arrest the perpetrators, which also include the girl's boyfriend.
"There are all the indications that this rape did in fact happen, but we still have to investigate further before we can absolutely confirm it," said Fernando Veloso, head of Rio's civil police department said on Friday. The Twitter handle used to put up the video has been suspended. The incident comes two months before the Olympics are scheduled to be held in the city.
According to the girl, she went to her boyfriend's house in a western Rio slum on May 21 and woke up the next day in a different house naked and injured. She said she was drugged. Police have identified four suspects so far, reported Reuters.
Social media users came out in support of the girl, slamming the culture of rape prevalent in the country. Twitter has been trending with hashtags like #EstuproNaoÉCulpaDaVitima — Portuguese for "rape is not the victim's fault".
"I really thought I was going to be badly judged," the victim wrote on Facebook expressing her gratitude for the support she got from the netizens. "All of us can go through this one day. It does not hurt the uterus but the soul because there are cruel people not being punished!! Thanks for the support," she said.
"I regretted watching it. When we heard the story we didn't believe what was happening. It's a great affliction. It's a depressing situation," the victim's grandmother said. As many as 47,636 women were raped in the country in 2014 alone. This is only the number of cases that have been reported, which is believed to be 35% of such incidents that actually took place during the period. The country's law sentences a rape accused to prison for six to 10 years if the victim is an adult, and eight to 12 years if a minor is raped.