WARNING: This article deals with accounts of rape/sexual assault and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.
The first rule of rape club? Nobody talks about rape club.
The second rule of rape club? See rule number one.
No, this isn’t a Hollywood horror flick. This story actually happened and for two years now, the police have known about it but been powerless to act.
‘Rape Club’ was a group of four young New Zealand men who called themselves the ‘Roast Busters’. They sought out girls as young as thirteen, plied them with alcohol and raped them before boasting of their exploits on Facebook.
The boys thought it was just good fun. A laugh. A way to blow of steam. Something to do for kicks.
But for the girls? This horrific crime has shattered their previously happy lives; at least one victim has attempted suicide.
Unbelievably, the group has tried to recruit more men to be a part of their depraved criminal activity. They have gone online to try and recruit more teenage boys to rape alongside them.
“We take what we do seriously,” says the young man to camera in his recruitment pitch, “some of you think this is a joke, it’s not.” “You try and get with the amount of girls we do. This is hard, it’s a job, we don’t do this shit for pleasure.”
That’s right. 17 and 18-year-old men seeking out others to join them in their illegal sexual conquests.
“”A true roast is where you know you are going there intentionally to roast this female,” the boy says in the Facebook video. “We don’t choose a roast, the roast chooses us. We have girls hitting us up to ‘hang out with us’. They know what we’re like; they know what they’re in for.”
For two years the ‘Roast Busters’ have been seeking out young girls in Auckland, getting them drunk, raping them and posting evidence to Facebook.
The footage recently aired on New Zealand’s TV3’s nightly news; on camera the boys joked of their rapes, full of bombast and bravado, and were revealed to be searching for other men to join them.
One of the underage victims of the brutal rapes spoke to TV3 saying, “I just kept blacking out ’cause I had drunken too much,” she said. “You could say I got raped. I had sex with three guys at one time.”
For two years the New Zealand police have known about this, and have been powerless to act because of insufficient evidence. Many of the traumatised victims have been, understandably, reluctant to give evidence in a court.
In fact the Facebook site was only shut down a few days ago after a journalist started making inquires into the page.
Detective Inspector Scott from the New Zealand Police said it was not yet a crime for the men – mostly 18-years-old – to film the sex and put that footage online. They can only be charged with a crime when there is proof that the girls were underage or that they did not give consent.
“None of the girls have been brave enough to make formal statements to us so we can take it to a prosecution stage… clearly they’re traumatised by it,” explained the Detective.
The police have been highly criticized in New Zealand for allowing the Facebook page to stay open. Detective Scott said the Roast Busters Facebook page had been left open for so long for “operational and tactical reasons”.