— Het Nieuwsblad (@Nieuwsblad_be) June 29, 2017
CRITICAL UPDATE: The whole story now turns out to have been made up by the two supposed victims. The Belgian newspaper HNL writes:
“There hasn’t been a case of rape, theft, and assault on the Oostende beach on Tuesday night, the Brugge magistrate has now communicated. The true series of events has emerged from investigations, the magistrate states. (…)
The youths has made up an excuse to tell their parents and got entangled in their own web of lies. They were dropped off at the police station by their parents to make their statements. That’s how the ball started rolling, with disproportionate consequences and a large scale investigation.
According to VRT-editors, the youths made the story up because they’ve had sex themselves.”
Before the news broke about the teens having made up the story, TOC reported it as followed:
During the night of Tuesday on Wednesday, an eighteen-year-old girl was raped on the beach of Ostend, Belgium. Near the town’s casino, she was sexually assaulted by two men, while a third kept her male friend at a distance.
The two friends were in the Ostend Casino for their Highschool Prom. During the evening, they decided to get some air and went to the beach, where they were suddenly approached by three men “of foreign origin“; Two younger, and one older, who began harassing them. They demanded money. The friend gave them what he had left, some €70. But that wasn’t the end of it.
One of the three culprits took out a knife and threatened the friend, while the two others turned on the girl. She is said to have been raped in front of him, while he was kept away with the knife. In total the ordeal lasted for 20 minutes. According to a family member, the boy was:
“Petrified. The Friday before he had a run-in with some men threatening him in the same neighbourhood. Now he was threatened with a knife and forced to watch how two men were molesting his friend.“
After the act, the three walk away, until now without a trace. The two teenagers hasten to the nearest police station to report the crime. Alerted, their parents were on their way to Ostend to support their children.
Both police and the public prosecutor’s office confirm that the rape was reported.
“The investigation is in full swing. Several leads are investigated. We have not yet made an arrest. The girl was taken to the hospital of Bruges to be searched for traces of sexual agression.“