Italian police nab rape suspect refugee


September 04, 2017
In this photo taken on Saturday, Septemeber 2, a man is escorted by police officers after being arrested in Rimini, Italy. Police in Italy say they've arrested a Congolese refugee as the fourth suspect in gang rapes at a beach resort. (Manuel Migliorini/ANSA via AP)


A Congolese asylum-hopeful with permission to stay in Italy for humanitarian reasons was nabbed aboard a train by police early Sunday as the last of a gang of four young males suspected of raping a Polish tourist on a beach.

They also beat her companion unconscious and raped a Peruvian woman barely an hour later in the same Italian resort town of Rimini, authorities said.

The man, identified as Guerlin Butungu, 20, was the only adult among the four suspects under arrest in the brutal case that triggered calls from Poland for the death penalty for the culprits and fuelled already growing anti-migrant sentiment in Italy, where hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers have been given shelter over the last few years after rescue at sea from migrant smugglers' boats.

Rimini police Chief Maurizio Improta described Butungu's arrest aboard a train at Rimini station. "The arrest this morning was doubly satisfying because putting the handcuffs on the fourth man were two women" police officers. "This symbolic gesture rendered justice to the victims of the violence," he said.

The three other suspects, all minors, were already in police custody Saturday night.