Three university students have been arrested in the alleged gang-rape of a woman on a Panama City Beach in Florida, authorities announced on 15 April. Police believe that the woman was drugged and then gang-raped in broad daylight as bystanders watched.
According to CNN, the victim became aware of her rape after watching a video on the news and recognised her tattoos. Police said that four men were involved in the assault.
Two Troy University students in Alabama were charged on 10 April, while a third student was arrested on 15 April in Tennessee. The Troy University students, who were identified as 22-year-old Delonte Martistee and 23-year-old Ryan Austin Calhoun, have been suspended from the university. According to NBC News, Calhoun was released on 14 April on a $50,000 (£33,716) bond, while Martistee remains in custody at Bay County jail.
The Bay County Sheriff's Office announced that George Davon Kennedy of Murfreesboro, Tennessee is believed to be one of the men in the video raping the woman. Kennedy, who is a student at Middle Tennessee State University, was arrested in DeKalb County, Georgia and charged with sexual battery by multiple perpetrators, al.com reported.
A fourth person, believed to be a witness, is being sought for the Bay County Sheriff's Office.
Hundreds watched but no one did anything
According to al.com, the incident reportedly occurred between 10-12 March. It was described as taking place behind the Spinnaker Beach Club on Thomas Drive in Panama City Beach, but the club's owner Sparky Sparkman denied the allegations. However, the victim and two of the suspects said the incident happened behind the Spinnaker on 8 March.
"There's hundreds, hundreds of people standing there — watching, looking, seeing, hearing what's going on," Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen said. "And yet our culture and our society and our young people have got to the point where obviously this is acceptable somewhere. I will tell you it is not acceptable in Bay County."
Ruth Corley, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said the victim plans to press charges and will meet with investigators this week.
McKeithen added that the video is "one of the most disgusting, repulsive, sickening things that I've seen this year on Panama City Beach," but is not an isolated event.