The Vienna police are being accused of hiding a rape case involving a Syrian migrant after only making the case public three days after it occurred, and only after a request for information from the Austrian press. The police have also controversially charged the female victim for “bodily harm” for stabbing her attacker, despite the man being accused by the police for trying to rape her.
Shortly before midnight on Tuesday last week, the 22-year-old woman attempted to enter the front door of her apartment building on Schönbrunner Strasse in the district of Meidling when she was attacked out of nowhere. Police say a Syrian migrant pushed the woman into the courtyard, immediately grabbed intimate parts of her body and pushed his victim to the ground, according to Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung.
But then the rape attempt took a dramatic turn: the woman, with presence of mind, managed to pull a knife out of her purse. She stabbed her attacker several times with it until he let go of his victim. He then grabbed her purse and ran away badly injured. The perpetrator was discovered by the police a short time later with cuts and stab wounds at a nearby subway station and taken to a hospital.
After being provided with medical aid, the 24-year-old man was arrested. He is a Syrian asylum seeker who, when arrested, had alcohol in his blood and a small amount of marijuana in his pocket. The Syrian initially denied the crime.
The Vienna police made the case public only Friday afternoon, after a three-day delay, in a press release, but only at the request of Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung, which was informed of the case by attentive readers. Some Austrians are accusing the police of hiding the information, which the police department denies.
In addition, the public prosecutor’s office has charged the woman for bodily harm.
“An absolutely insensitive approach,” said her lawyer Michael Dohr, who said the charges are absurd and that the victim is still traumatized.