ABAETETUBA, Brazil — A 15-year-old girl arrested on petty theft charges was left for weeks in a jail cell with 21 men, who raped her, tortured her and only allowed her food in exchange for sex.
Her screams could be heard from the street. Yet police refused to act, and it took a tip to the local media to finally free her.
Ten police and prison officials and two inmates face up to 20 years in jail if convicted, and a verdict in the trial is expected this month. But nearly a year after the crime, the most shocking element is how normal the girl’s plight seems to many in the sweltering river port city of 78,000 at the mouth of the Amazon where she was imprisoned.
‘‘It was her third time in jail, the only difference was this time someone noticed,’’ said Selma Pinheiro Serrano, a 23-year-old prostitute who knew the girl.
After the uproar of the case, the Para state gov
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