The two Swedish women who have accused Wikileaks founder Julian Assange of sex crimes including rape are angry at the suggestion that their claims are politically motivated, the women's lawyer said today.
"They were attacked by Mr. Assange and then they are treated like perpetrators themselves," attorney Claes Borgstrom told ABC News. "He has molested them and then sacrificed them for his own interests."
One woman accused Assange of sexually coercing her twice in August, including one time when he allegedly "forcibly parted her legs, preventing her from moving... then had intercourse without a condom," according to prosecutors. The second woman claimed that Assange had unprotected sex with her while she slept.
Borgstrom told ABC News one of the women went to the hospital following one of the alleged attacks.
Assange's arrest earlier this week came in the midst of an international controversy over the publication of more than a quarter million classified U.S. diplomatic documents by Assange's website, Wikileaks. The timing of the arrest led a Wikileaks spokesperson, Assange's lawyer Mark Stephens and hundreds of Assange's supporters to claim they were part of a political effort to marginalize the Wikileaks founder.
But Borgstrom said his clients were hardly against Wikileaks. Rather, the two were employed by Wikileaks and were in fact "admirers" of Assange's work.
"They want that there will be a trial so Julian Assange must answer to what he has done and so the world sees it's true and it really happened," Borgstrom said.
The accusations against Assange were previously dropped by one Swedish prosecutor before being picked up by another. When the accusations were read in a British court Tuesday, the judge said the case is "about serious sexual offenses on three separate occasions, involving two separate victims...extremely serious allegations."
Assange has denied the sex crimes charges and after his arrest, Stephens told ABC News Assange is ready "to vindicate himself and clear his good name."
Assange's detention appears to have sparked a cyber skirmish as his supporters targeted government and private websites that have taken action against Wikileaks, before some the supporters' own pages were taken down in return.
After a loosely affiliated group of computer users known as Anonymous declared Operation: Payback against several major websites like Paypal, Mastercard.com and Visa.com -- all companies who refused to process payments for Wikileaks -- and the Swedish government website, some of those sites went down for hours Wednesday. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told ABC News she was among the victims of the attacks late Wednesday after she spoke out on Facebook against Assange.
"No wonder others are keeping silent about Assange's antics," Palin said in an e-mail to ABC News. "This is what happens when you exercise the First Amendment and speak against his sick, un-American espionage efforts."
For hours this morning Mastercard.com was not operational once again, although service appears to have been restored.
"This is a way kind of to strike back and to say 'Hey, you can't push us around,'" Wired Magazine's Noah Schactman told "Good Morning America." "These retaliatory attacks really show that in today's, you know, super-networked world, that a very few number of people can have an outsize effect."