Two individuals have been arrested this Thursday in Paris, accused of participating in the group rape of a 27-year-old Mexican woman at the Champ de Mars, the green esplanade in front of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, on Wednesday night. According to the French media Le Parisien, the victim was in that area around one in the morning when she encountered five individuals who subdued and assaulted her.
The Paris Prosecutor’s Office has stated that investigations continue to find the remaining three men. “Two individuals have been arrested in connection with an ongoing investigation into the flagrant crime of group rape,” said the authority, which has confirmed that arrest warrants are still active for the three individuals who took part in the act. Last May, authorities deployed a mobile police station in that area to ensure security, according to French media reports.
The Champ de Mars is one of the most emblematic gardens in Paris. It is located in front of the Eiffel Tower and is daily traversed by thousands of people who come to take photos during the day and night, waiting each hour for the lights that illuminate the iconic iron structure. Local residents also come to play on the football and basketball courts, have a coffee at the cafés hidden among the trees, practice yoga, and read on the lawn.
After learning about the tragedy, the leader of the Parisian right, Rachida Dati, requested, as reported by the newspaper 20 Minutes, that the park be closed at night “to fight against trafficking, protect the garden, ensure the tranquility of the residents, and prevent commercial overexploitation.”
A source close to the case told Le Parisien that this is not the first similar case they have seen. “It’s part of the modus operandi of these predators. They target young vulnerable women, vacationing tourists who don’t speak the language and are a bit lost. They usually get them drunk,” the source told the French media. In April of this year, a German tourist was the victim of an attack in the same area, and in February, a Brazilian tourist was the victim of a rape at the same Champ de Mars.