American pop star Lady Gaga has said she struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of multiple sexual assaults when she was 19.
Lady Gaga made the comment during an interview with Oprah last weekend.
“I was raped repeatedly when I was 19 years old,” she said. “And I also developed PTSD as a result of being raped and not being able to process that trauma.
“I did not have anyone to help me, I didn’t have a therapist, I did not have a psychiatrist, I did not have a doctor help me through it; I just, all of a sudden, became a star, and was travelling the world going from hotel rooms to . . . stage. I never dealt with it.”
An Indonesian student described as Britain’s most prolific rapist was jailed for life on Monday for a catalogue of sex offences on unsuspecting men he drugged and assaulted.
Manchester Crown Court in northwest England was told Reynhard Sinaga may have attacked as many as 195 men, luring them into his flat with the offer of a place to stay or alcohol.
Judge Suzanne Goddard described the 36-year-old from Indonesia’s Jambi province as “an evil sexual predator” who preyed on drunken young men on nights out.
He is thought to have used sedatives to render his victims unconscious before filming the attacks. Most knew nothing about the assaults. He was caught only when one victim woke up.
“One of your victims described you as a monster,” Goddard said. “The scale and enormity of your offending confirms this as an accurate description.”
She recommended he serve at least 30 years behind bars.
Sinaga was convicted of 159 offences, including 136 rapes and eight attempted rapes, at four separate trials, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.
The first trial began in June 2018. The last ended last December. None could be reported until restrictions imposed to avoid prejudicing juries were lifted on Monday.
The CPS said Sinaga was suspected of attacking “scores” more men since he moved to Britain in 2007, calling him “the worst-known sex offender in the country’s history”.
The deputy chief crown prosecutor for northwest England, Ian Rushton, said: “Reynhard Sinaga is the most prolific rapist in British legal history.”
“His extreme sense of sexual entitlement almost defies belief and he would no doubt still be adding to his staggering tally had he not been caught.
“Sinaga’s unthreatening demeanour duped these young men — many of whom thanked him for his kindness in offering them a place to stay — into thinking this monster was a Good Samaritan.
“But once back at his flat he used victims as objects purely for his own gratification — then appears to have derived further twisted pleasure from re-watching his films in court and putting victims through the trauma of giving evidence.”
Sinaga, a slightly built, young-looking doctorate student, had claimed his mainly heterosexual victims were acting out his sexual fantasy to play dead during intercourse.
But four trial juries rejected his defence and a character testimony from a local church he had attended in Manchester.
He was arrested in 2017 after the victim who woke up managed to snatch his mobile phone and took it to police.
The CPS said detectives discovered 3.29 terabytes of graphic material of the sexual assaults equivalent to 250 DVDs or 300,000 photos. One of the assaults lasted for eight hours.
A court in Cyprus on Monday found a British woman guilty of falsely claiming she was gang-raped by a group of Israeli tourists in the resort of Ayia Napa.
Sentencing was adjourned until January 7.
The woman, who was 19 at the time of the incident in July, had pleaded not guilty to the charge of “public mischief”, which carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of around 1,700 euros.
“The statements you have given were false,” the judge told the defendant in remarks translated by the court interpreter.
She appeared frustrated by the delay to the sentencing, telling her lawyer: “He already made his decision! I thought we were asking for a fine.”
More than a dozen women from an association for the protection of women attended court wearing white scarves with an image of lips sewn shut printed on them.
The woman’s lawyers had claimed she was pressured into signing a statement written by a detective.
The judge said during the trial that police had acted properly at all times, with no pressure exerted to change the woman’s mind about her initial claim she was raped by 12 Israelis on July 17.
The Israelis, aged 15 to 18, were released without charge the same month after the woman was arrested on suspicion of making a false statement.
Rights groups argued the teenager has suffered humiliation and been mistreated by the police and media.
They have called for an investigation into police handling of the case and criticised the way rape cases and victims are treated in Cyprus.
An Indian lawmaker was sentenced to life Friday for raping a teenager whose plight police ignored until she tried to set herself on fire, in a case highlighting the impunity often enjoyed by the powerful.
The day after she did so last year her father died in police custody, with the family alleging he was tortured for pursuing the case. Later she was critically injured in a suspicious car crash.
On Monday the court convicted Kuldeep Singh Sengar of raping the-then 17-year-old at his home in Uttar Pradesh state in 2017, and his sentence was handed down Friday.
Sengar, 53, was expelled from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in August as the case started to make headlines — but remained a lawmaker.
“This court does not find any mitigating circumstance. Sengar was (a) public servant and (he) betrayed people’s faith,” the Press Trust of India reported the judge as saying.
After her rape, police in the notoriously lawless northern state initially refused to take action on her complaint against the four-time legislator.
Nearly a year after her assault, the girl tried to set herself on fire outside the home of Uttar Pradesh leader, and BJP stalwart, Yogi Adityanath, in protest.
A separate trial is being held over the car accident that injured the woman, who cannot be named, amid allegations it was a hit carried out on Sengar’s orders.
The case was heard in Delhi from August 5 after the Supreme Court ordered the trial be moved from Uttar Pradesh, where the politician enjoyed considerable clout.
Sengar, who was tried under child protection laws as the victim was a minor at the time of the assault, denied the charges.
A former ruling party lawmaker was convicted Monday of raping a teenager in a high-profile case that underscored India’s rampant sexual violence and the impunity enjoyed by the elite.
Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a powerful four-time state legislator for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was found guilty of raping the-then 17-year-old at his home in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, lawyers said.
Sentencing will be announced later this week.
The verdict came amid renewed public anger about sexual assaults in India and the failures of the overloaded criminal justice system in tackling such crimes.
Early this month, four rape-murder suspects were killed in what police claimed was a “shootout” in the southern city of Hyderabad, and a woman died after her alleged attackers set her on fire en route to court in Uttar Pradesh state.
It also falls on the anniversary of the brutal 2012 gang rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi that triggered nationwide protests and international outrage.
Sengar, who was expelled from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP in August, broke down in tears as the verdict was announced in the district court in New Delhi.
Judge Dharmesh Sharma said the “unshaken testimony” of the victim and “sufficient evidence” had proved Sengar’s guilt.
“I found her statement truthful and unblemished that she was sexually assaulted,” the judge said in the verdict.
The case was heard from August 5 after the Supreme Court ordered the trial be moved to Delhi from Uttar Pradesh, where the politician enjoyed considerable clout.
The victim’s father died last year in police custody after being accused of keeping firearms illegally, with the family alleging he was arrested and tortured by police for trying to pursue the case.
The woman was also critically injured in a suspicious car crash in July. A separate trial is being held over the accident amid allegations it was a hit carried out on Sengar’s orders.
The sense of impunity enjoyed by Sengar, 53, sparked revulsion and protests across India.
Sengar, who was tried under child protection laws as the victim was a minor at the time of the assault, denied the charges.
India’s rape laws were overhauled after the 2012 bus gang rape but high numbers of assaults persist.
More than 33,000 rape cases were reported in 2017, according to latest available official data.
India’s top court on Thursday ordered an inquiry into the police shootings of four rape-murder suspects, as speculation grew that four other men convicted of the infamous 2012 Delhi bus gang-rape would be executed soon.
The men were killed in what police claimed was a “shootout” last week, raising fresh concerns about the alleged use of extrajudicial killings by Indian authorities.
The accused had been re-enacting their alleged rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in the southern city of Hyderabad in late November.
A former Supreme Court judge was appointed to head the inquiry, alongside a retired High Court judge and a former head of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s equivalent to the FBI.
The probe was tasked by the court to complete its investigation in six months.
The rape and murder of the young woman sparked widespread demonstrations and calls for swift and tough justice, with people taking to the streets and cheering after the men were shot dead.
The huge public outcry recalled the rape and murder of a woman on a Delhi bus in 2012, where nationwide protests also broke out against the high levels of sexual violence and India’s broken criminal justice system.
There has been increased speculation in local media that the men convicted of the Delhi bus assault would be hanged as soon as Monday, the anniversary of the attack.
Neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state has been asked to provide the jail with two hangmen on short notice, the Press Trust of India reported.
A Turkish court on Wednesday jailed two men for raping and murdering a colleague in a case which became a rallying cry for in the campaign to end violence against women.
Wealthy businessman Cagatay Aksu was sentenced to life for the murder and sexual assault in May 2018 of 23-year-old Sule Cet, state news agency Anadolu reported.
His colleague Berk Akand was sentenced to 18 years and nine months for assisting in the crimes, the agency said.
The case sparked anger across Turkish society after the men claimed the university student committed suicide by throwing herself from the 20th floor of a building in Ankara.
There was also an attempt to suggest Sule was somehow to blame because she drank alcohol, and there was uproar at a hearing earlier this year when the defence lawyers speculated over Sule’s virginity.
At another hearing, Aksu reportedly told Sule’s father: “If only you’d looked after your daughter,” widely seen as criticism of his parenting.
“Femicides” have become a major issue in Turkey, where conservative attitudes still dominate in much of the country, with daily reports of gruesome murders of women, most often at the hands of current or former partners.
The “We Will Stop Femicides Platform”, a rights group, says 39 women were killed by men in November alone. The figure was as high as 53 in September.
While the government acknowledges the issue of violence against women, critics say not enough is being done to provide shelters and to address the broader problem of gender inequality which permeates society.
When women gathered to protest against the violence in Istanbul last month, they were teargassed by police.
Turkey ratified the 2011 Istanbul Convention on preventing domestic violence, but in some cases, defendants are still able to receive reduced sentences if they claim provocation or because of “good behaviour” in custody.
The Senate has begun an amendment of the Criminal Code Act, 2004, after considering a bill to that effect.
The bill sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central) during Tuesday’s plenary in Abuja seeks the removal of gender restrictions on rape offences and a proposal of stiffer penalties for kidnapping.
The proposed amendment by the upper chamber of the National Assembly also seeks to delete the statute of limitation in cases of defilement.
In her lead debate on the bill, Senator Tinubu objected to the provision of Section 218 of the Criminal Code which stated, “Anyone who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 13 or attempts same is guilty of a felony and liable to life imprisonment or 14 years imprisonment, respectively.”
According to her, the prosecution of an offender under the section constitutes a limitation that should be extended as against the Act’s provision which allows for only two months after the offence is committed.
“This is untenable in a country where investigations often take longer than two months,” the lawmaker was quoted as saying in a statement by Ezrel Tabiowo, a special assistant to the Senate President.
She added, “Considering the shortage of police personnel, relative to our population as prescribed by international standards, the two months limitation is unlikely to be met at all.”
“With the development and innovation in forensic technology and the accessibility or otherwise of such infrastructure in Nigeria, rushed investigations with a view to commencing prosecutions within a two-month period leave a possibility of a huge margin for error.”
The amendment bill also seeks an amendment to Section 221 of the Criminal Code.
The section provides that “Where a person has or attempts carnal knowledge of a girl being of or above the age of 13 and under the age 16, an ‘idiot or imbecile’, he shall be liable to imprisonment for a period of two years provided that the prosecution is commenced within two months after the offence is committed.”
The bill also proposes an amendment to Section 221, to substitute for the words ‘idiot or imbecile’, the words ‘mentally challenged’.
Senator Tinubu believes while words like idiot, moron, and imbecile are professionally used to measure Intelligence Quotient (IQ), they have acquired pejorative connotations, become derogatory and obsolete and should no longer be contained in the nation’s laws.
On rape, she noted said the Criminal Code Act, 2004, defined rape in Section 357 as an offence against women.
The lawmaker described the definition as “grievous,” saying it perpetrated the socio-cultural belief that men do not need to consent to sexual acts.
She, therefore, stressed that there were incidents of non-consensual sex perpetrated against the male gender.
Meanwhile, Section 364 of the Criminal Code under amendment proffers punishment of imprisonment for a term of 10 years where a crime of kidnap is established.
The law under the Act defines kidnap as “unlawful imprisonment of any person to prevent him from applying to a court for his release or from disclosing to any person where he is imprisoned.”
Senator Tinubu compared the penalties for kidnapping to that of robbery – which is 21 years and death – as provided by the Criminal Code Act.
“Why is the punishment for stealing property and replaceable things higher than what is obtainable when you steal a human being?” she queried.
The lawmaker added, “The frequency of kidnap across the Federation and its resulting trauma, not to mention the number of lives lost to the crime, makes it imperative to review our laws with a view to ensuring appropriate punishment for perpetrators and deterrence for would-be perpetrators.”
After the bill was debated, Senate President Ahmed Lawan referred it to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters for further legislative work.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised to wield “the big stick” on perpetrators of rape, domestic violence and child abuse in the state.
He also pledged the support of the state government for the police and the judiciary to ensure the crime was brought to the barest minimum.
The governor gave the warning on Tuesday after leading the “Walk To Commit and Act” rally organised by the state government through the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) of the Ministry of Justice.
He explained that the government commemorating the day in line with the United Nations declaration against gender-based violence.
Governor Sanwo-Olu added that the state was working hard with the Police Command and all relevant agencies to bring the crime to a zero point.
He warned that no offender would go unpunished, stressing that rape, domestic violence, and child abuse were crimes and must be treated as such.
“Lagos State government through the Ministry of Justice and other arms of the government, deem it fit that we need to have this walk to further confirm and to indicate our full support for advocacy around the talk of child abuse, the advocacy around rape, against women and girl, the talk around domestic violence, sexual violence and all other vices that are around abuse of children,” the governor said.
He added, “Our government by this walk confirms that we are totally against it, we stand against everything about this issue and we are going to ensure that we have zero tolerance against it.
“It is a crime against humanity. When you are caught in the act of sexual violence, child abuse, domestic violence, you will be made to pay dearly for your crime.
“So, we are using this advocacy to warn and to tell people to desist because the full arm of the law will be brought to bear on anybody or institution found wanting in any form.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu encouraged victims of such acts to open up to necessary authorities with an assurance that the government would take up such issues.
According to him, it is about time people lived in civil society and ensure they end the silence.
“Come forth if anything happens, speak up, and you can rest assured that you’ll be protected and the government will take up your issue.
“For people that have been all shut out that don’t know who or how to go about it, we have phone numbers that you can call.
“You can call our 112 or you can call the toll-free number which is 08137960048. You can also send your text to 6820. Be rest assured that somebody is on the other side, that will pick up your case and we’ll see to it that justice is served in any way where we found anybody culpable,” the governor said.
A former model has accused a modelling agent close to US sex crimes suspect Jeffrey Epstein of raping her in 1990, as France pursues its own investigation into alleged offences on its territory.
In a letter sent to Paris Prosecutor Remi Heitz seen by AFP on Saturday, a 46-year-old Dutch woman says Jean-Luc Brunel drugged and raped her at his Paris appartment in the early 1990s, shortly after she turned 18.
French prosecutors opened an inquiry last month into suspected sex trafficking and alleged cases of rape and sexual abuse of women, including minors.
Brunel has emerged as a key figure in the scandal surrounding the US billionaire, who committed suicide in a New York jail last month.
Brunel has been accused in court documents of rape and of procuring young girls for Epstein, charges he has denied in the past.
But since Epstein’s arrest in July — just as he returned from a trip to Paris — Brunel, formerly a high-power model scout, has not been heard from publicly.
In her letter, the former Dutch model said several girls lived in Brunel’s apartment near the Champs-Elysees, where every day “rich businessmen were accompanied by very young girls.”
“The events are beyond the statute of limitations, and my client knows this will not lead to charges against Mr Brunel,” the woman’s lawyer, Anne-Claire Le Jeune, told AFP.
“But she wanted to testify anyway, to help the inquiry move forward,” she said.
It is also investigating claims that Epstein and others participated for years in a vast child sex-trafficking ring.
A French advocacy group for child sex abuse victims, Innocence En Danger (Innocence at Risk), has said 10 people had offered witness statements alleging sex crimes committed against minors in France.
According to the Parisian newspaper, Paris police last week questioned two other women who said they had been sexually assaulted by Brunel. These alleged offences happened too long ago for prosecution.
Four years ago, Brunel was accused in a civil lawsuit of rape and procuring young girls for the US financier.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who filed the suit, accused Epstein of using her as a “sex slave”. She said she had been forced to have sex with well-known politicians and businessmen, including Brunel.
She also alleged that Brunel would bring girls as young as 12 to the United States and pass them on to his friends, including Epstein. Brunel fiercely denied the allegations.