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Abuse of girls in men's jails common in Brazilian state of Para

October 5, 2008 |  9:49 am


A 15-year-old girl arrested on petty theft charges in Abaetetuba, Brazil, was left for weeks in a jail cell with 21 men, who raped her, tortured her and allowed her food only in exchange for sex, reports the Associated Press.

Her screams could be heard from the street. Yet police refused to act, and it took a tip to the local media to finally free her.

Ten police and prison officials and two inmates face up to 20 years in jail if convicted, and a verdict in the trial is expected this month. But nearly a year after the crime, the most shocking element is how normal the girl's plight seems to many in the sweltering port city of 78,000 at the mouth of the Amazon where she was imprisoned.

Click here to read more about this case, and here for more about Brazil in general.

— Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Image: The screams of the 15-year-old could be heard from the street. Yet police refused to act. It took a tip to the media to free her. The governor acknowledged that girls were being arrested expressly to provide sexual gratification for prisoners. Renato Chalu / Associated Press