The boys were accused of orchestrating three incidents which took place at a secondary middle school in Graz in 2015. Only one of the accused confessed to the abuse.
Initially the 15-year-old victim was too scared and ashamed to talk about what had happened to her, but she did confide in a new teacher months after the abuse had happened. Police initially investigated 20 students and finally charged six teenagers with rape, sexual coercion, bodily injury and obstruction of justice.
The schoolgirl said that she was groped and assaulted in the school’s medical room. She said that two of the boys raped her and the others threatened to punish her if she told anyone, and had held the doors shut so that she couldn’t escape.
One of the six suspects was found not guilty as it couldn’t be proved that he was involved in the abuse. The main suspect was convicted of two counts of rape and sentenced to 24 months, eight of which can be served outside of prison. The only suspect who confessed to the crimes received a one year conditional sentence. The other three boys received sentences of between three and ten months.
The prosecutor said that although most of the defendants admitted that “something had happened”, they would not admit they had any part in it. She said that they showed “not a trace of regret or compassion” and that their punishment should “make it clear that there is no excuse for violence, and that violence against women should not be tolerated”.