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Date rape gang circulates videos on the Internet

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A Californian date-rape gang is broadcasting videos of its "conquests" on the Net. Members of the gang drug their victims with the notorious sedative Rohypnol and film their rapes. These astonishing claims were published yesterday in the Mail on Sunday, one of Britain's best selling newspapers. But where's the beef? It comes in the form of anecdotal evidence supplied by one Nina Richards, a PR consultant and -- last year -- a victim of a Rohynpol-wielding date rapist. Richards was slipped the drug by a virtual stranger at what newspapers always call "London's fashionable" Met Bar. Following seven hours of oblivion, she woke up in a strange room where she "could see a naked man. He was shuffling around and, in retrospect, I realise he could have been assembling a camera". Only later did she discover there was a "strong possibility he had photographed me to circulate his 'conquest' to other drug-rapists on the Internet". She cites a Los Angeles police source who says they "believe there's a film of what happened to me being circulated on the Internet through a California date-rape group called the Bachelors. But only those in the know in the know can access the web site, so it has not been traced". Can this be true? The implication is that some bored, decadent Californian men have got together with other bored, decadent Californian men to form a "date rape club" and then circulate films of their crimes amongst themselves. If so, this is mirrors the activity of secret child porn rings operating on the Net. But it sounds a little dubious to us. Which is not to doubt Richard's account of her ordeal. In April, British police questioned her alleged attacker, described in the MoS as "extremely wealthy" and American. He confirmed he had sex with her, but claimed she had done so willingly. And that was the end of the police investigation. In an investigation of Rohypnol misuse, the MoS reports that more than 1600 drug rapes have been reported in Britain, but there has not been a single prosecution. Traces of the drug disappear from the system within 24 hours -- usually before a victim realises she has been drugged. ® See also: Web hate sites target women and children More cash needed to fight kiddie Web porn war Long arm of the law reaches into cyberspace US Senate moves to ban bomb info on Web FBI fights fraud in cyberspace

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