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Four men arrested in southern Italy after two British teenagers sexually assaulted

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By Daniel Bellamy  with AP
Four men arrested in southern Italy after two British teenagers sexually assaulted
Copyright  AP Photo

Police in southern Italy have arrested four men and are investigating another four on suspicion of sexually assaulting two British girls at a villa where a party was being held, authorities said on Friday.

The 15-year-old girls, who spoke no Italian, met one of the male suspects after arriving with one of their older sisters at the party in the southern province of Matera, according to public prosecutor Pietro Argentino.

The male suspects, whose ages range from 19-23, won their trust by acting in a friendly manner before taking advantage of the girls' altered states due to alcohol, police said.

As the party went on inside the villa, the adult sister lost sight of the girls, investigators said.

Private surveillance video released by police showed one of the minors, stumbling and appearing to protest, being pushed by one male toward a dark corner behind the villa after midnight on September 7, joined by three others.

Police said they were then followed by three males with the other minor.

Police said the two girls were then sexually assaulted, in separate attacks that lasted about 15 minutes.

The girls contacted police several hours later and were treated in hospital.

The four arrested were positively identified by the girls, according to police, while three others were identified from the CCTV video.

Police are seeking the identity of the eighth suspect.

Police said they acted swiftly due to evidence of the ''brutality of the of the violence committed in a subtle manner that could have been repeated against other helpless women."