Transcript for U.S. student who accused Italian police officer of sexual assault speaks out
Back now with our ABC news exclusive. A woman says she was sexually assaulted by Italian police while studying abroad in Florence. It is a harrowing story. We know that Italy is one of the top study abroad destinations for American students and now these accusations about an attack involving two officers are raising even more concern, one of the accusers told me it all began when those officers offered to drive her and her friend home. With its world class art and gourmet food it's no surprise that Florence, Italy, has become the second most popular study abroad destination for college students from the United States. But for two 20-year-old American women who studied there this fall a dream semester abroad turned into a nightmare after they say they were assaulted by a pair of Italian policemen who escorted them home from a nightclub when they couldn't find a cab. S of supposed to be one of the best times in my life. Reporter: This is one of the young women. At her rekwees she is in shadow and not naming her. Her story begins on September 6th when she and a friend went out to dinner then to this club. There was about ten of us that went that night. Drinking, dancing. Yeah, drinking, not excessively, but we were drinking, yeah. Any drugs? No, no drugs. No. The officers started to drive you home. Do you think they could tell that you were intoxicated? They could definitely tell my friend was more intoxicated than I was. So that's when we started heading to the front door. And they followed you. Yep. Did you think that was strange? It was -- I didn't think it was that strange because my friend, she was -- she couldn't really tan by herself. She needed assistance so the one officer was like, oh, we'll help you. We'll help you. We got to my elevator door and the elevator only fits about two people. She says her friend and officer Costa took the elevator while she took the stairs followed by officer kamuffo. The third floor in front of her own door that officer camuffo assaulted her. He moved me over to the windowsill and then assaulted me there. And I was terrified. I mean, he had a gun. He is a trained military police officer, what do you do in that moment? Did you keep saying no? Did you cry. I was crying. But I couldn't scream. There was nothing coming out of my mouth at that point. I was so scared. Is there anything you can share about what he physically did to you? I mean before -- when I had said no and put me up against the wall and started pulling at my clothes and he's taller than me, bigger than me. And then that's when I was like, oh, my god, this is going to be the worst moment of my life. What was he saying to you? I didn't know what he was saying. He didn't speak any English. So that was even worse because -- I mean no is universal. Reporter: The young woman's lawyer says officer Costa's testimony at a pretrial hearing in November proves the encounter was not consensual. He says he -- I only saw camuffo, the other guy, that tried to lower the pants of the girl and she was with some resistance she said no, no. Reporter: The case created an international media frenzy. This case has gotten a lot of attention in Italy. Are you surprised by the reaction? I'm more surprised that in the beginning no one believed that it even happened. People were like, oh, just a drunk American girl, she drank too much. Reporter: The focus on Americans studying abroad in Italy has grown since 2007 when Amanda Knox was accused of murdering her British roommate at the university of pulia, tried and convicted but then acquitted twice. A 2011 poll by Loy royal la university in Rome found 47% of American students thought about the Knox case before deciding where to spend their semester abroad. The officers in Florence have been suspended but claim any sex that night was consensual. What do you think will happen to those police officers? Do you have trust in the judicial system over there? I do. I think evidence is overwhelming. So I think that justice is going to prevail. Now, if convicted the maximum penalty is ten years in prison. The attorney for the officer accused by the young woman I spoke with says the accuser's story does not match what her client has said. It is so sad because this young woman had just been in flarns for two weeks, had only taken three classes and then this happened. Horrifying to hear. Yep. All right, thank you, Amy.
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