Three Afghan men – including one who fled to London before being arrested and extradited – have been jailed over the death of a 13-year-old girl who was given seven ecstasy pills before being gang raped in Vienna.
Leonie Wallner was raped for four hours after the ecstasy pills were mixed into her iced tea before the defendants left her to her fate by leaning her body against a tree in a park in Vienna’s Donaustadt district in June 2021.
After they were arrested, all three tried to blame the others for what happened, but this was rejected by the jury.
Announcing the guilty verdict, the head of the jury, Anna Marchart, said the three men had treated the schoolgirl “like an object” and that showed complete indifference to whether she lived or died.
The most heavily penalised was Rasuili Zubaidullah, 24, who later fled to the UK and had to be extradited back to Austria, where he has now been jailed for life.
The two other attackers were given lesser sentences because of their younger age.
Ali Sena ‘Ramesh’ H., 20, who claimed that he was her boyfriend, was jailed for 19 years.
And Ibraulhaq ‘Haji’ A., 19, who owned the flat where the rape and tragic death occurred, was jailed for 20 years.
Lawyers of Leonie’s family had called for her alleged killers to stand trial for murder. Still, instead, the charge sheet against the three migrants included ‘rape’ and ‘extreme sexual abuse of a minor’ but omitted murder.
This was because, according to local law, the intention of the act must be taken into account and prosecutors believed the men had ‘merely’ planned to rape Leonie and not kill her, despite the high number of ecstasy pills they gave her.
The lawyer for the family, Johannes Oehlboeck, said: “She was 13 years old: a girl, a child, a sister, a classmate at the new middle school in Tulln. She was in third grade there. Leonie would have celebrated her 15th birthday this year.”
Zubaidullah had fled to the UK following the alleged crime but was arrested in London and later extradited to Austria.
There were originally four suspects, but investigators now believe the fourth supplied the drugs but took no part in the rape.
The death of Leonie, 13, who was raped, drugged and left to die, leaned against a tree in the city of Vienna in Austria, shocked the world and now the defendants had to answer the accusations before the Vienna Regional Court.
Leonie, who was born in Nuremberg but who grew up in Tulln near Vienna, was filmed leaving the Kagran metro station in the Austrian capital with the three defendants at 2:15am on the day of her death.
The four then went to Ibraulhaq A.’s flat where the defendants allegedly mixed the ecstasy into her drink, stripped her clothes off, grabbed her and threw her onto a mattress before they all took turns to rape her.
Between 5:57am and 6:30am, Zubaidullah. allegedly filmed his accomplice Ali Sena H. kneeling between Leonie’s legs.
When Leonie suffocated, they reportedly tried to revive the 13-year-old with lemon juice and a cold shower – in vain.
They then allegedly put men’s underpants on her inside out, carried her out of the apartment, and leaned her body against a tree. Then ‘Haji’ called for help and allegedly pretended to be an uninvolved passerby.
‘Ramesh’ later claimed that Leonie had slept with him of her own accord.
Zubaidullah who had to be extradited back to Austria, reportedly said in his statement that he had paid Leonie EUR 50 for 15 minutes of sex after she was offered to him by Ramesh with the words: “It’s just a girl who works for money”.
Haji reportedly said he held Leonie’s hand while Zubai allegedly raped her and saw her crying, but did not intervene out of fear of Zubai. He reportedly said: “It’s none of my business, she wasn’t my girlfriend. It was her own fault that she died, she used drugs and ran away from home.”
Ramesh said he was drugged by Zubai himself and fell asleep after the alleged rape. Hours later, he saw Leonie lying on the living room floor, wearing only underpants around her knees.
Zubai allegedly kept video footage on his phone like a trophy for months. It is now evidence.
The autopsy report states that Leonie had bruises on her upper arms and died of an ecstasy overdose and suffocation caused by pressure exerted on her chest from lying on the living room floor.