Five nabbed for Toronto gang-rape


Toronto : Five people were arrested for allegedly gang-raping two women here on New Year’s Day, another instance of sexual assaults becoming common in Canada’s biggest city.

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The five – Rozbah Bahri, 27, Parvez Bahri, 25, Said Serwary, 23, Ahmad Ghafari, 23 and Omed Sarwary, 23 – turned themselves in Thursday after police flashed their photos on TV networks and in newspapers.

In the first case of sexual assault this year, the five men allegedly gang-raped the women in their early 20s in their hotel in downtown Toronto on New Year’s Day.

They had met the two women at a New Year’s party.

At the end of the party at 3 a.m., the five men accompanied the women uninvited to their hotel in the heart of the city where they overpowered them and allegedly gang-raped them. They fled after the assault.

They were identified by the women from the photos taken at the event.

When their pictures appeared on TV channels and in newspapers, the five men surrendered to police Wednesday.

They were released on bail of $5,000 each under strict instructions before their next court appearance. They will be under strict curfew from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The suspects have also been banned from touching alcohol and contacting their alleged victims.

“It’s going to be very aggressively defended. It’s been devastating for their family and for them,” their lawyer Lenny Hochberg said.

“They come from good families and have no criminal records. They have a long haul ahead of them,” he said.

In a similar case just two weeks earlier, a city woman was gang-raped in the Etobicoke area of Toronto.

The woman had left a bar alone when she was set upon and gang-raped by three men in a nearby parking lot. Nobody has been arrested yet in that case.

There have also been other cases of sexual assaults on women in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).