Skip to main content

5 men confess to gang-raping Swiss tourist in India

By Sumnima Udas, CNN
updated 11:02 AM EDT, Sun March 17, 2013
An Indian security official looks over the site that a Swiss woman was raped the night before near Gwalior on March 16, 2013.
An Indian security official looks over the site that a Swiss woman was raped the night before near Gwalior on March 16, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Confessions to police are not admissible in court
  • The victim and her husband were camping
  • 20 people have been detained for questioning

New Delhi (CNN) -- Five men have confessed to gang-raping a Swiss tourist in central India, authorities said Sunday.

Confessions in police custody are not admissible in court, however, and can be retracted.

The woman was camping near a forest in India's Datia district with her husband when a group of men beat the husband and raped her, the district's deputy superintendent of police, R.S. Prajapati, said.

Opinion: End global rape culture

There were between five and seven attackers, he said.

Fighting rape in India's old-boys club
CNN rides along with Delhi police
Lakshmi: Problem goes beyond gang rape

The couple arrived in Mumbai on February 3 and were on a cycling tour across the country, said D.K. Arya, deputy inspector general of police.

The attackers stole a laptop, 10,000 rupees (US $185) and a mobile phone, he said. The victims went to police and the woman was hospitalized and later released.

Twenty people have been detained for questioning, Arya said.

How it feels to be a woman in India

The couple is staying at a guesthouse in the Datia district while the investigation unfolds, he said.

The Swiss ambassador to India, Linus von Castelmur, has spoken with the couple and offered any support they will need.

"Their health and treatment is the priority of the moment," the ambassador said in a statement. "The embassy has also been in touch with the local authorities and has requested for swift investigation and for justice to be done."

The attack comes at a time in India when there are calls for stricter laws on sexual assault and changes in cultural attitudes toward women.

In December a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped on a New Dehli bus, spurring protests in India, where most women have stories of sexual harassment and abuse on public transportation or on the streets, according to the Indian Council on Global Relations. That woman later died in a Singapore hospital.

A panel appointed by India's home affairs minister as a result of the case criticized Indian attitudes toward sexual assault and called for policy changes, including creating an offense of gang-rape punishable by at least 20 years in prison, making it a crime for police to fail to investigate sexual assault complaints and making it illegal to consider character or previous sexual experience of the victim at a criminal trial.

Challenges of being a woman in India

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 10:20 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
updated 8:22 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
updated 5:34 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT