In Croatia, three Australian nationals had been charged for raping a 17-year-old Norwegian backpacker in a bar.  The Aussies are set to return to Australia after admitting the crime.

A 21-year-old and two 23-year-old men  gang-raped a teenager in a bar last year  in July. Croatian authorities seized their passports and banned them from leaving the country. They were only given a green signal after agreeing to pay US$30,595 to the teen’s family in exchange for a suspended jail sentence.

According to the County Court, at about 1.30am on the eve of July 16, the men were at a bar in Split, a city on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast; they were apparently drunk.  One of them forcefully took the teenager towards the toilet while the other two followed him behind. They sexually forced her.

The girl somehow managed to escape her attackers and reported the incident to the police an hour and a half later. The suspects were arrested right away.

During the investigation, it was found out that the three men and the girl were drinking together but how familiar they are with each other before the alleged rape was not clear.  The court maintained that the trio planned the rape early in evening.

One of the suspect denied any bodily contact with her but forensic evidence revealed the contrary.  The other two claimed to have sexual contact with her but they avouched it was consensual.

The State Attorney’s Office insisted to keep the trio behind bars. But the Split County Court ruled out to let them free in to go around Croatia, after their passports were seized by authorities.

Before the deal, the Australians were facing 15 years jail sentence.  They were issued one year jail sentence, which was later reduced to a five-year good behaviour bond after they agreed to pay the family. The bond is actually enforceable only in Europe but not in Australia.

A law expert and lawyer Mladen Ostro, said, “Deals like this became common in Croatian criminal law in the last few years. Deals between the accused person and the State Attorney’s office are not obligatory to the court but in most cases the court accepts it to avoid long processes and to save money if all the participants of the case were happy with the deal,” this is according to a report by