Italy’s Carabinieri paramilitary police corps has suspended two policemen who allegedly raped two American students in Florence while on duty.
The two women, aged 19 and 21 according to reports, claim the cops attacked them inside their apartment on Thursday evening after they couldn’t find a taxi home from Flo nightclub.
The pair, who are studying abroad, were believed to have been involved in a fight, prompted police to arrive at the venue.
The Carabinieri provincial office’s command in Florence said the two officers were notified Saturday of the measure.
Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said there is ‘some basis’ to the allegations, The New York Times reported.
Italian news media reported that the pair told prosecutors they were drunk and had smoked marijuana that night.
According to Corriere della Sera, one of the cops admitted to having sex with one of the women, but insists it was consensual.
Two American students, both 21, alleged that they were raped by Carabeinieri police when they escorted them home from a club in Florence, Italy on Thursday
Three police cars went to Flo nightclub to investigate a fight. Two of them stayed behind and supposedly took the girls home (file picture). None of the officers in this photo are believed to have been involved in the attack
It stressed the suspension reflects alleged conduct while on duty and is separate from Florence prosecutors’ criminal investigation of the alleged rapes.
The women told authorities that the police, in uniform, drove them home from a disco early Thursday morning because they couldn’t find a taxi, then raped them inside their apartment building.
Investigators are awaiting DNA test results to see if they confirm the women’s account.
Besides the rape allegations, the policemen risk disciplinary charges for driving the women home without informing their superiors.
The officers, members of paramilitary police, are waiting to be questioned.
Three patrol cars went to Flo nightclub to investigate a fight, according to Italian media as reported by the New York Post.
After the issue was eased, two of the cars left while the last took the girls home and allegedly raped them.
News report stated that witnesses confirmed that they saw the two women enter the patrol car with the officers.
News report stated that witnesses confirmed that they saw the two women enter the patrol car with the officers
An official from the State Department said they were aware of the allegations and were taking the matter seriously.
The US Embassy in Rome said in an email: ‘Due to the sensitive nature of this case and to protect the privacy of those involved, we have no further comment.’
According to the Italian news agency ANSA, the US consul general in Florence met with Florence’s police chief Friday morning to talk about the case for about an hour.
The women had been said to be in Florence for several months studying Italian at an school in the area.
Florence has become a popular tourist destination for lots of Americans and offers plenty of study abroad opportunities for students in the States.
In January 2016, American woman Ashley Olsen was killed in her flat sparking lots of media attention.
A court in Florence convicted a Senegalese man of murdering the woman and sentenced him to 30 years in prison, later that year.
The 35-year-old had been strangled and suffered skull fractures.
Witnesses had said they’d seen the woman and her attacker meet at a Florence nightclub mere hours before she was murdered.