The Kavaje Court of Appeal has released seven teenagers that were accused of sexually abusing a minor.
In February 2019, the youths were charged with the rape of a 13-year-old girl. The Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the Durres Court and released them from prison, putting them on probation instead.
The reasons given for their decision was due to the age of the defendants the fact that they have apparently “repented” and they needed to continue their schooling.
In the initial court case, two of the boys plead guilty and the other five denied it. Their legal representation had previously asked for lighter penalties due to their age and a lack of proof. The judge of the Durres court, Nurjeta Tafa sentenced them to prison.
The parents of the children had tried to keep the news of the rape out of the media and had even offended journalists covering the trial.
The victim, a minor had reported 12 boys to the police station. She said they forced her to have sex with them by means of blackmail. Her boyfriend had shared a video of her having sex with him amongst other peers. This was then used to rape her under the threat of it being made public. Her ordeal lasted around four months.
Teachers and the family of the girl had failed to immediately report the rape to the police. The police were also accused of not reacting swiftly to question or arrest the suspects.
Furthermore, ERTV, Prime Minister Edi Rama’s personal online TV service, broadcast an interview with the victim’s family, conducted by MP Elisa Spiropali. This outed the victim’s identity while she was still a minor.