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Suspects in alleged rape of US tourist released

Four suspects arrested Tuesday for the alleged rape of a U.S. university student from Wisconsin have been released, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

The Prosecutor’s Office in San José told The Tico Times that the 19-year-old woman at the center of the alleged rape dropped her criminal complaint with the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) in San Carlos, a canton in north-central Costa Rica. On Tuesday, the OIJ told The Tico Times that the U.S. tourist had not returned to La Fortuna – where the rape allegedly occurred – to identify the four suspects and, without further evidence, police released the suspects later that day.

According to police reports, the woman was traveling with a group of university students and two professors in La Fortuna, near the Arenal Volcano in northern Costa Rica, where the students went to a local bar Saturday evening. After the students left the bar, the woman returned to the bar, ostensibly alone, to look for a missing item. She was seen with several of the suspects at the bar, according to witness accounts. The alleged rape took place in the early hours of Sunday morning somewhere between the bar and the hotel where the group stayed. Authorities would not disclose to The Tico Times the name of the university.

The Prosecutor’s Office noted that without the participation of the accuser and the lack of any additional witnesses to the crime, it was unlikely that the case would move forward.

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