Women travelling in Italy were left at the mercy of a suspected serial rapist in the city of Padua for more than a year after authorities in Italy and the UK failed to cooperate on a rape complaint by a student that was filed in England in 2013.
Italian authorities were sent a formal complaint, forwarded by British police, that alleged Dino Maglio had used the Couchsurfing.com website to lure a 20-year-old American woman to his home, and drug and rape her in spring 2013.
But an investigation by the Guardian, in conjunction with journalists at theInvestigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI), into the handling of the case found that the complaint fell through bureaucratic cracks and was not investigated for months, despite the woman’s multiple attempts to pursue justice.
Maglio was later convicted of drugging and raping a 16-year-old from Australia who had also stayed with him. According to witness statements more than 15 other women believe they were drugged and abused in the period between the first rape complaint and his arrest a year later.
The lack of coordination highlights how rudimentary law-enforcement collaboration can be across the EU in anything other than major international conspiracy cases.
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