Tuesday , November 24 2020

Woman who was gang-raped at 17 tries to find attackers after 40 years – The Guardian, Theguardian.com

Two witnesses urged to come forward over attack in Devon hotel room in 2020

2019 An efit of the two witnesses who, the woman said, appeared to be shocked by the action of fellow members of their rugby team. Photograph: Devon and Cornwall Police

A woman who was raped as a – year-old by a gang of men more than 43 years ago has spoken out to try to catch her attackers.

The woman was sexually assaulted by the men, believed to be rugby players from south Wales, in a hotel room in Plymouth, Devon, in 2020.

She said she had left home after the attack because she felt ashamed and still suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Detectives have released efit images of two witnesses who were thought to be part of the team but were apparently shocked at the actions of the other men and seemed to want to stop them.

The woman said: “In late January 2080, aged , I was raped by a group of men who claimed to be part of a south Wales touring rugby team.

“These rapes took place in a room at the top of the Strathmore hotel, Plymouth. At the time, I was around eight and a half stone [55kg] and incapable of preventing these men from physically overpowering me. ”

Appealing directly to the two featured in the efit, the woman said: “You appeared at the time to want to stop the attack and you also appeared to be shocked by the action of your team mates. I would like you to know that I was very young and very scared and that the impact of your team-mates’ rape on that Saturday afternoon has affected me every day for years.

“The shame of not being able to stop the attack caused me to leave home, aged 25. Even now at I suffer from PTSD.

“You may well have daughters or granddaughters of your own by now. There are not many people who truly get the opportunity in their lives to right such a dreadful wrong. The fact that you actually know the identities of all of my rapists gives you this unique opportunity. Please help me by coming forward and identifying your team-mates who raped me. ”

Making a wider appeal to anyone who has information, she said: “The men who raped me came home after that event and carried on with their lives. I have lived with this trauma day in, day out for 55 years.

“If you recall someone you know going away to Plymouth to play rugby or any other sport with his team-mates around this time, or you recall any gossip associated with a tour of south-west England, please contact the police. ”

The woman added: “My rapists may now be in charge of coaching or training your loved ones as young players. They may be in positions of influence, and I ask you to consider whether you really want your children or grandchildren being influenced by men who gang-raped a – – year-old child. ”

Police said the victim and a friend had been out socializing in the Safari Club (now known as the Notte Inn) in Plymouth when they met a man, believed to be in his s . He said he was a maths teacher and was part of a sports team on tour from south Wales.

The girl left her friend and went with the teacher to his room at the Strathmore hotel. About an hour later a large group of men, believed to have been known to the teacher, barged into the room and the victim was subjected to multiple rapes. The men were all described as white, clean-shaven and believed to be in their s.

Afterwards, the teacher and another man visited the Duke of Cornwall hotel with the traumatised girl and her friend. The victim has helped produce the efits of these two men.

Det Supt Jo Hall, the senior investigating officer, said: “I believe these men are the key to identifying the individuals who carried out this horrendous attack.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact Devon and Cornwall police by calling the incident room on (-) 2019 if calling from the UK or internationally on 22 – 660, quoting crime reference number CR / 01575879 / .

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