Rapists attacked two more women in downtown Oslo over the weekend but police are unsure whether the assaults are connected to a series of rapes two weeks ago. One victim described her attacker as blond and pale, and that doesn’t fit the descriptions given by three earlier victims.
As in the cases reported during the weekend of April 2-3, the new rapes occurred late at night. One of the women was attacked by three men well after midnight Saturday near the area around Skippergata and lower Karl Johans Gate, with police getting the call just before 4am.
Gang rape threat
Police now think the victim avoided what could have been a gang rape because two passersby happened to walk by and the rapist halted his attack. Both he, described as being blond and light-skinned, and the two others fled the scene.
Police were called and the victim, a woman in her 20s, was taken to the city’s special clinic for rape victims where she received treatment and police secured evidence for DNA testing. She said she couldn’t describe the two other men. Police were securing evidence from surveillance cameras in the area and keen to question the two passersby.
The second rape occurred well after midnight on Friday, when a woman was attacked in the lavatory of a nightclub called Temptation on Pilestredet, also downtown. The 21-year-old victim had gone alone to the lavatory while her two girlfriends stepped outside to smoke.
The victim had come into contact with her attacker earlier in the evening and could give police a full description. They later arrested an 18-year-old Norwegian at his home. He has no previous police record and denied rape charges. He faced a custody hearing on Monday.
Not ruling out connection to earlier assaults
Prosecutor Cecilie Schløsser Møller told reporters that police have no clear links that the man charged also was involved in the rapes earlier this month, “but we can’t rule anything out and of course will investigate.”
Police secured DNA evidence in the series of four rapes that occurred during a five-hour period from late Saturday April 2 to early Sunday April 3. Another rape was reported a few days later, bringing the total to seven in the past two weeks.
The rapes have sparked extra police and civilian patrols and women are being warned against walking alone late at night in the city. Justice Minister Knut Storberget and top city politicians also have joined patrols, to demonstrate concern at the highest political levels.
“Every rape is one too many, and we don’t like this at all,” Møller told newspaper Dagsavisen on Monday.