MEN RAPED WOMAN THEY HAD JUST MET ON NIGHTCLUB DANCEFLOOR THEN RAN. Attackers left vulnerable victim with ‘severe’ injuries
October 15, 2019
Two men seen high-fiving each other after sexually assaulting a woman in a London nightclub have been convicted of rape.
Ferdinando Orlando, 25, and Lorenzo Costanzo, 26, led the victim into a maintenance room minutes after meeting her at the Soho venue and took turns to sexually assault her, leaving her with “severe” injuries.
CCTV footage then showed the men, both Italian nationals, running up stairs out of the club and watching videos they filmed of the attack on a mobile phone.
The victim was found in the venue’s toilets in such “extreme pain” she struggled to walk, Scotland Yard said. She later required surgery in hospital.
The victim, then aged 23, had gone to the nightclub in Argyll Street with friends on 25 February, 2017 and did not know her attackers.
At 2am Orlando and Costanzo began dancing with the woman, who was “visibly drunk and unsteady on her feet” as the men took turns to kiss her, according to police.
Scotland Yard added in a statement: “The suspects then stand either side of the victim, escort her into a maintenance room, propping her up, eight minutes after first interacting with her. They both then rape her.
“Sixteen minutes later all three then leave the maintenance room and the suspects re-arrange the victim’s dress and straddle walk her into the female toilets.
“Orlando and Costanzo then run up the stairs exiting the nightclub and high-five each other before showing one another something on a mobile phone.”
The men admitted during a trial at Isleworth Crown Court they had been watching the rape back on the phone as they made lewd gestures and talked about the attack.
Staff found the victim in the toilets more than an hour later. A French couple helped her get home, where her housemate found her in such severe pain she called for paramedics and police.
Detectives established the victim had been raped and obtained CCTV footage from the club which showed Orlando and Costanzo holding her up and leading her off the dancefloor and towards the maintenance room, where they broke a lock to gain entry.
Police learned Costanzo had left the UK hours after the attack and returned home to Italy. Orlando left around a week later.
On 15 March last year, Costanzo returned to Britain to watch a football match in London. He was arrested at Heathrow Airport and charged with rape on the following day.
Following his friend’s arrest, Orlando contacted the police and flew back for a police appointment at which he was arrested.
Both men claimed in police interviews they had consensual oral and vaginal sex with the victim. But they were each convicted of two counts of rape on Tuesday.
Detective sergeant Rebecca Woodsford, who led the police investigation, said: “Today’s result is the best possible outcome from a truly traumatic experience for the victim.
“Costanzo and Orlando though that they could attack a vulnerable victim, brag about it and then get away with it. They were very wrong and will now pay the price for their actions.”
The men will be sentenced at a later date, which has not yet been set.
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