A foreign tourist was raped on a minibus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian police said Monday, as the city gears up to host the FIFA World Cup next year and the 2016 Olympics.
Two men have been arrested for raping the woman and beating up her boyfriend, the BBC reported citing Brazilian police.
The couple's identities and nationalities have not been disclosed.
Arrested suspects Jonathan Foudakis de Souza, 20, the bus driver, and Wallace Aparecido de Souza Silva, 22, allegedly told other passengers to get off the bus, and drove it to the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, before raping the woman repeatedly as the minibus crossed the long bridge over the Guanabara Bay in Rio, the BBC reported. Her boyfriend was handcuffed and badly beaten, the report added.
The couple, who boarded the bus in the Copacabana area of the city, was later abandoned in the nearby city of Itaborai, after they were forced to use their credit cards for shopping and to withdraw money from cash machines.
Police are looking for a third suspect, who boarded the bus outside Rio and also raped the woman.
Reported rapes in Brazil rose by 157 percent between 2009 and 2012, with Rio de Janeiro recorded 16 sexual assaults a day last year, according to official data released in January, as reported by AFP news agency.
In just the first six months of 2012, more than 5,300 people — 90 percent of them women — were raped in Brazil, which is home to about 194 million people.
However, Brazilian health ministry attributed the increase in the number of reported rapes to a change in the criminal code in 2009, which expanded the legal definition of rape.
In January last year, a male contestant in the country’s Big Brother reality TV program was booted off the show after allegations emerged that he raped a fellow contestant, after she had passed out.
While there have been instances of participants being kicked off Big Brother productions in other countries for sexually questionable behavior, this was the first disqualification on the Brazilian show, according to a report by the Associated Press.