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Court upholds prison sentences for Helsinki gang rape

Four men face prison terms for the rape of a young woman near Helsinki Railway Station nearly a year and a half ago.

Helsingin Hovioikeus oikeustalo.
Helsinki Appeals Court Image: Yle

Helsinki Appeals Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling against three foreign men convicted of aggravated rape. The assault took place on November 1, 2015, in an outdoor area near Helsinki's main railway station.

The District Court had ruled that the victim, a young adult Finnish woman, was raped twice, first by one man and then by three others. There were four defendants in the case. The victim did not know the attackers beforehand.

Last April, Helsinki District Court sentenced three of the men to four-year unconditional prison terms, and the fourth to two years in prison. The latter appealed the decision, but later cancelled his appeal. As a result, the lower court ruling stands in his case.

Supreme Court appeal possible

The Appeals Court considered the other three defendants' sentences, but left them unchanged. They can still apply to have their rulings re-evaluated by the Supreme Court.

Three of the original defendants are Iraqi citizens and one is Syrian. Three are aged 24, while the third is aged 39.

The tabloid lltalehti reports that at least three of the perpetrators came to Finland as asylum seekers.

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