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3 men convicted of raping American in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO — A court convicted three men in the gang rape of an American woman aboard a public transit van, a crime that shocked Brazil.

Judge Guilherme Schilling delivered the verdict Wednesday, sentencing 20-year-old Jonathan Froudakis de Souza and 21-year-old Walace Aparecido de Souza Silva each to 49 years and three months in prison on rape, robbery, and extortion charges. Carlos Armando Costa dos Santos, whose age was not given, was sentenced to 21 years and seven months in prison, while a minor detained in connection with the rape has yet to be tried.

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The assault began after midnight on March 30 when the victim and her French boyfriend caught a public van in Rio’s showcase Copacabana beach neighborhood en route to the popular nightlife district of Lapa.

Van operators robbed the passengers and forced all but the couple to get off. While they restrained the Frenchman and beat him with a tire iron, they repeatedly raped the woman as the van traveled back and forth between Rio and a nearby suburb.

The attackers also went on a shopping spree with the couple’s credit cards, forcing the woman to return to the apartment where she was staying to fetch another card, the police officer overseeing the investigation has said.

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