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Benn “distraught” over sexual assault at Latitude

By | Published on Monday 19 July 2010

Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn has said he is “distraught” that a particularly nasty sexual assault happened on the site of this weekend’s Latitude festival. A nieteen year old girl was raped near one of the festival’s camp sites on Thursday night before the event had really begun. It seems after the victim asked a group of men for directions to the campsite toilets, they led her into a wooded area near the site and raped her.

Police and festival organisers are appealing for information regarding the incident. Meanwhile Benn told reporters on Friday: “Festival Republic are taking the allegation very seriously and are liaising closely with Suffolk Police in their investigation. We have significant sympathy for the victim of this most awful act and are so shocked that it should happen here”.

A second rape then took place on Friday night, though it was unconnected to the first incident, and the victim seemingly knew her alleged attacker, who was arrested the next day.

Commenting on the impact the two incidents had had on the wider festival, Benn told reporters on Sunday: “People are obviously entitled to be nervous. But these things, as awful as they are, are outside anyone’s control. Whether it’s at a festival or in a village or high street, there are people around who – either determinedly or opportunistically – will do such a thing”.

As previously reported, there was also a sexual assault at this month’s T In The Park, though overall crime does seem to be down at most mainstream music festivals this year.