A 20-year-old Belgian tourist on Wednesday claimed an Israeli tried to rape her on the steps of one of Rome's most famous churches, the Basilica di Santa Maria in Aracoeli, above the central Piazza Venezia.
Three police officers on duty at Rome's Campidoglio town hall intervened when they head the Belgian woman screaming at around 4 am and took her and the 26-year-old Israeli in for questioning. Police also interviewed several people who had spent the evening drinking with the Belgian woman and the Israeli in a nearby Irish pub.
The Belgian tourist said he had chatted to the Israeli at the Irish pub and he told her he worked at Rome's Fiumicino airport. The pair then took a walk to the nearby Piazza dell'Aracoeli and when they began to walk up the stairs to the basilica, the Israeli began trying to kiss the Belgian and to rape her, she told police.
Just days earlier, a 23-year-old Bangladeshi man was arrested for trying to rape a 19-year-old Finnish babysitter near Rome's central Termini railway station
The Bangladeshi allegedly attacked the Finnish woman, hit her over the head with a large rock and stole 40 euros from her early on Sunday after offering to give her a lift home in his car when she couldn't find a taxi.