A man is accused of raping a Canadian tourist in Milan after pretending to be a taxi driver, according to local reports. The woman got in what she thought was a car that had been sent from a hiring company so she could reach a bus station and continue her journey to Venice on 17 September. However, the suspect allegedly took her to an isolated area in the outskirts of Milan, where he raped her.
The woman was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors confirmed sexual violence had taken place. The Carabinieri, Italy's military police, is examining CCTV footage to identity the suspect amid suspicions it was not the first time he had committed such a crime, the news agency Ansa reported. The suspect is believed to be from South America.
This is only the latest on a long list of rape cases occurred in Italy in recent weeks.
Earlier in September, the brutal rape of a 57-year-old German tourist shook Rome. The woman was robbed, raped and subsequently left naked and tied to a pole in the tourist spot of Villa Borghese, in the heart of the Italian capital. The victim, who was found by a taxi driver in the night of Monday 18 September, was unable to scream as her assailant had put a handkerchief in her mouth before fleeing the scene.
Another tourist, a 20-year-old Finnish national working in Rome as a baby sitter, was raped after spending a night out with friends in the city. Police arrested a 22-year-old Bengali man who lived and worked in Italy.
The suspect is believed to have attacked the woman after offering to escort her home. During the car journey, the man tried to have sex with the woman, who started shouting. The suspect then dragged her behind a bus parked near Termini train station, where he allegedly raped her. He then stole some money from her wallet and fled.
The whole peninsula has seen a string of rape cases in the past weeks. An Italian man raped a female doctor after he pretended to be sick so he could gain access to a hospital in Sicily. The woman's ordeal is believed to have lasted at least three hours.
Hundreds of women took to the streets of Florence to demonstrate in solidarity with two US students allegedly raped by two Italian policemen after they escorted them from a nightclub. The organisers of the protests claimed that Italian coverage of the case reflects "a sexist rape culture [...] that constantly insinuates that the victims 'were asking for it'", according to The Local.
The officers are being investigated.
The gang-rape of a 26-year-old Polish tourist and a transgender woman rocked the tourist town of Rimini in September.
Four people were arrested after being accused of raping the Polish woman while beating and robbing her husband and forcing him to watch the sexual violence. The gang was also accused of raping a Peruvian transgender woman on the same night.
Poland has called for the extradition of those accused of raping the Polish woman. Those arrested include a 20-year-old Congolese man who had arrived in Italy in 2015. The other alleged gang rapists are two brothers aged 15 and 17 and a 16-year-old boy.
The recent cases of rape have reignited a debate on immigration in Italy, with far-right movements calling for a halt to immigration and chemical castration for the alleged rapists. The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, declared September a "black month" for Italians due to the spate of rape cases and called for tougher laws to tackle the phenomenon.