The uncle of a British teenager who was gang raped while on holiday with her friend in Italy was urged by revellers not to call the police in order not to ruin the party.
The two girls, both aged 15, were at a party at a villa in Marconia di Pisticci, a town of about 12,000 people in the Matera province, in southern Italy.
Shortly after arriving at the party, the two teenagers – who arrived with the sister of one of them – were approached by two of the suspects, investigators said.
Matera’s police said one of the suspects pushed one of the girls in a dark area and his friends arrived shortly after, with the other teenager.
The two girls were sexually assaulted in a field near the villa for about 15 minutes, according to TGcom24.
After the suspects left the scene, the teenagers told the sister of one of them about what had happened.
Once they returned home, the two victims called 118 – the Italian emergency service.
An ambulance arrived to evaluate their health condition and took them to hospital.
The victims also alerted police, saying they had been hit and punched before being raped by eight men during the night.
The girls were admitted to Madonna della Grazie hospital in Matera, according to reports.
They were in a state of shock and marks on their bodies showed signs of violence, according to The Guardian.
Police described the attack, which happened the night between September 7 and September 8, as a ”brutal and extreme assault”.
The victims reportedly tried to defend themselves, but because the music was loud nobody at the party noticed the rape was happening.
Four men from the town have been arrested on suspicion of rape and grievous bodily harm.
Michele Masiello, 23, Alberto Lopatriello, 22, Alessandro Zuccaro, 21, and Giuseppe Gargano, 19, who were named and pictured by Italian media, are being held in jail in Matera.
Details of the investigation revealed that the uncle of one girl went to the party after the attack and was asked not to call police.
One of the revellers reportedly told him “don’t call police, or you will ruin the party”, according to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
Giuseppe Rago, a lawyer for the girls, described the violence committed against them as “unprecedented”.
“They are girls with a strong character, they have been heartened by their families and are confident in the work of justice.
“They hope to soon recover and forget what happened … we would never have thought that such wickedness could happen here,” he told Adnkronos.
One of the girls described in her statement how she ordered a drink from a barman and was then offered a second by a man she met at the party.
She said: ”I didn’t knowingly take any drugs but I think someone put something in my second drink because after I drank it I felt awful.”
The girl added of the attack: ”I told them to stop. I was shouting in English let me go.
“They took off their trousers and I tried to defend myself by biting the penis of one. I saw that one of them was trying to film it on his phone.”
CCTV footage released by Italian police and published by local media shows the men heading towards the field and leaving the scene about 15 minutes after the alleged rape.
At least two of the attackers were identified by the girls after the cousin of one of them showed them the Instagram profiles of Masiello and Lopatriello.
Investigations are ongoing and the suspects remain in jail.