June 19, 2008 -- The Italian prosecutor investigating the alleged role of American student Amanda Knox in the murder of her roommate insisted today that the victim was sexually assaulted and then murdered, despite a conclusion by forensic experts appointed by the court that sexual assault could not be proven.
A final report on the investigation by prosecutor Giuliani Mignini indicates that Knox and two other suspects are likely to be charged with voluntary homicide, sexual assault and simulation of a crime.
Meredith Kercher, a 22-year-old British student, was found strangled and stabbed last November in the Perugia house she shared with Knox. Both women were studying in the Italian city.
Within days of the killing, Knox, 20, of Seattle, was arrested along with her 24-year-old boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. A third person, Rudy Guede, 21, fled to Germany but was later returned to Italy.
The three have been in prison since their arrests, although they have not been charged with Kercher's murder.
The filing today of Mignini's report, which was obtained by ABC News, means his investigation into Kercher's death is complete.
Mignini claims that Kercher was raped, then strangled and stabbed in the neck. He accuses Knox, Sollecito and Guede of also stealing 300 euros from Kercher.
In addition, Mignini claims that Knox and Sollecito faked an attempted burglary of the house Knox and Kercher shared to make the Kercher murder appear to be the result of a burglary.
In response to today's filing, Knox's parents, Edda Mellas and Curt Knox, told ABC News in a statement, "We know our daughter is innocent and we will continue to support her in every way possible. We look forward to her eventual release and to her being found innocent of the charges against her."
They said the charges recommended by Mignini come as no surprise because "from the very beginning of the investigation into the tragic and senseless murder of Meredith Kercher, and even before evidence had been gathered and processed, Prosecutor Mignini has been wedded to the theory that Amanda and two others were responsible for Meredith's murder."
Mellas and Knox have alternated stays in Italy to visit Amanda for the one hour twice a week they are permitted in Capanne prison, where she has been held since last November.
Defense lawyers for the three suspects have 20 days from today to present their counter arguments, after which the prosecutor will request indictments for the suspects. A preliminary hearing will follow, where the suspects could be freed or indicted and a trial date set.
A trial would likely begin before the end of the year.
Knox had contradicted herself by initially insisting that she wasn't in the apartment at the time of Kercher's murder, but during a lengthy interrogation by police said that she had a vision she had been at the apartment. The court, however, threw out that statement last month and objected to the methods by which the statement was obtained.
Guede has also contradicted himself. He initially said he was with Kercher in her bedroom and left briefly, and when he returned she was bleeding and he scuffled with a man wearing a hood. He said Knox and Sollecito were not at the apartment.
Guede later said Knox and Sollecito were at the apartment and Sollecito was the man he scuffled with in Kercher's apartment.