Rabat – Moroccan police on Wednesday arrested a 17-year-old accused of sexually assaulting a young woman in the streets of Tangiers, authorities said, the latest such incident to spark public anger in the kingdom.
Police have also arrested three minors suspected of filming the assault and publishing the footage on social media, as well as insulting and threatening the victim.
“The main suspect, a minor aged 17, was detained in the Boukhalef neighbourhood of Tangiers as part of an investigation” by local police, the DGSN security agency said in a statement carried by official news agency MAP.
The footage, shared widely online, show a young man walking behind the woman, lifting her dress and touching her backside in broad daylight. He then flees, to the sound of laughter apparently from the person filming.
All four suspects have been detained as the prosecution investigates the case, the statement said.
Recent years have seen a string of similar incidents, including a 2017 incident in which a mob of men hounded a clearly panicked woman on a Tangiers street, footage of which sparked a heated debate online.
The following year the country passed a law that for the first time imposed prison sentences for acts “considered as forms of harassment, aggression, sexual exploitation or mistreatment” against women.
Rights groups say the law did not go far enough given the extent of the problem.