Two more rapes reported by ‘russ’

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Police in Oslo are investigating two more reported rapes at another major weekend gathering of graduating high school students known as “russ.” The young women reported the rapes separately late Friday night, and they’re the latest in a string of such assaults at russ gatherings this year.

The two latest occurred after 2am at Friday night’s outdoor russ party in the parking lot at Tryvann, northeast of Holmenkollen in the hills above the capital. “Two russ girls in two separate incidents have told us they were raped,” Tor Gulbrandsen, operations leader in the Oslo Police District, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Saturday. The women were taken to the city’s emergency room (Legevakt) and would be questioned further later in the day.

‘Serious’ and ‘tragic’
“These are serious reported assaults that we’re investigating, and of course tragic for the two involved,” Gulbrandsen told NRK. “We’ll do what we can to clarify what happened and apprehend those who did this.”

Around 10,000 “russ” were gathered at Tryvann Friday night for another of their huge parties meant to celebrate the end of 13 years of schooling. Gulbrandsen said they had no clear suspects nor had they been able to track down any witnesses.

Police are already investigating several other rapes of russ reported earlier this season, two at a Tryvann gathering two weeks ago, and four at or near a major russ party at an amusement park in Sandnes, western Norway last weekend. There’s been some speculation that the alleged rapists are not other graduating students but rather have infiltrated the events parading as russ. One of last weekend’s rapes occurred at a roadside rest stop outside the main party area.

False alarm and complaints elsewhere
In another incident involving partying russ, two young women set off a major and false alarm after they got into a fight in Ålesund and nearby residents heard calls for help from one of them.

Police, firefighters, ambulance personnel and even a rescue boat and specially trained divers were called to the scene at a waterfront industrial area at Breivika, fearing someone had fallen into the chilly waters. There was no emergency after all, just two intoxicated teenagers fighting and yelling one another.

NRK reported that police also received many calls and complaints involving loud music from partying russ elsewhere in Ålesund and in Molde, Ørsta, Ulsteinvik and Sykkylven.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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