On the morning of 9 June, an 18-year-old in her last year of Highschool was sexually assaulted in the Austrian town of Linz. Earlier reports stated that she was on her way to the bakery early in the morning, but new reports now show she was on her way to a petrol station. She was approached by two men, who talked to her. One of them pressed something into her back, which she took to be a firearm. The men forced their intimidated victim into the basement of a house in the Dinghoferstraße. There they overwhelmed the Highschool-senior, raped her and then stole her mobile phone and wallet before fleeing.

While she luckily suffered minimal physical injuries, the assault deeply affected the young woman psychologically. According to police commissioner Karl Pogutter, she was unable to even face their pictures, when she was informed on Thursday 29 June, that two suspects had been apprehended.

One of the attackers is a 17-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan, the other one is only named as a 27-year-old Austrian. The Afghan has been living in a supervised institution as a so-called ‘unaccompanied minor’ since 2016. Both suspects have been in front of a magistrate before, on drugs related charges. They were arrested at their respective homes in Linz on Thursday morning, 07:00.

They have not confessed to the crime, but based on DNA-evidence and video recordings Pogutter reported that he is convinced of their guilt. State Police Director Andreas Pilsl went as far as to speak of “slash- and puncture-proof evidence.

The good result of police investigations does not, however, leave everybody satisfied. The Austrian police are still being criticized for their handling of the media coverage of the case. Pogutter made a point during his press conference of emphasizing that the media silence was in the interest of the investigation. The police had not wanted to warn the suspects by giving the case media attention.