45 years’ imprisonment for a trio who wreaked havoc in Casablanca

As soon as they left prison, three young men formed a dangerous gang which perpetrated several crimes in Casablanca before being put out of action.

They are three friends. They first met at the Oukacha prison in Casablanca. Each of them was serving a prison sentence for a misdemeanor or felony. And they ended up in the same cell. When they left prison, they continued to meet. They decided to form a gang headed by their eldest, aged twenty-six. The other two members of the gang are aged twenty-one and twenty-three respectively.

They perpetrated several assaults and gang-raped a young woman. However, they denied the charges against them when they appeared, under arrest, before the three magistrates of the criminal chamber of the Casablanca Court of Appeal. Each of them told the court that he had never met the other two suspects since leaving prison. However, each of the victims presented their testimony to the court, claiming to have been assaulted by at least two members of the gang. One of the victims, a young woman and mother, stated that she was on her way home from work at a restaurant-bar in the town center when she came across two of the three thugs. One of them was armed with a knife, which he showed her without touching her, threatening her.

Not knowing which saint to turn to, she asked them to take what they wanted without hurting her. She gave them her cell phone and a sum of 420 DH. Another victim revealed that they took her to an ATM to withdraw DH4,000 from her bank account. But worst of all was the story of a young woman, aged twenty-three, who was sexually abused. With tears in her eyes, she said she had spent the day with her cousin before taking the path back home.

However, halfway along the route, she passed through an alleyway in the Moulay Rachid district of Casablanca, only to come face to face with two of the three thugs. At gunpoint, they forced her to remain silent. Although it was 7 p.m. in March, the alley was deserted and no one was there to save her. She begged them to let her go without harming her. But to no avail. They snatched her purse and smartphone before leading her under threat to a room in a local home.

Their third friend, to whom one of them had telephoned, joined them. And without mercy or shame, they took turns raping her. They didn’t allow her to return home until it was too late. She immediately lodged a complaint and investigations led to her arrest.
 Verdict: fifteen years’ imprisonment for each of the thugs.

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