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CRIME

Waitress grabbed in bus stop rape attempt

A man has been arrested for attempted rape in Rome after apparently mistaking a waitress for a prostitute.

Waitress grabbed in bus stop rape attempt
The alleged attacker has been charged with attempted rape. Police car photo: Shutterstock

The 19-year-old victim, who works as a waitress in a hotel in the centre of town, was attacked as she was waiting at a bus stop on her way home on via di Roccia Cencia in the Casilino area of Rome.

The 37-year-old man allegedly approached the woman and asked her how much she charged for sex, Rome daily Il Messaggero reported. She explained that she was not a prostitute and moved away from him.

Apparently not discouraged, the man proceeded to grope her and forced her to move to a secluded spot nearby.

She managed to fight back and escape back to the main road where she was spotted by some friends who happened to be driving through.

A witness standing by the traffic lights then phoned police who arrived within minutes. The woman gave a description of the man, who was arrested shortly after. Police have charged him with sexual assault. 

According to crime stats from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Italy had a relatively low incidence of rape, with 7.6 cases of recorded rape per 100,000 people in 2012, the last year for which comparisons are available. The EU average is 10 cases per 100,000.

CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

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Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

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