Prostitutes suspected of witchcraft acquitted of rape charges in Zimbabwe

May 3 2012 - 1:36pm

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Three sex workers accused of raping 17 men in Zimbabwe were freed on Thursday after a magistrate found no evidence against them.

The women, all in their 20s, were arrested last year after being stopped at a police roadblock. A search of their vehicle revealed over 30 used condoms.

The trio was charged with "aggravated indecent assault," amid claims by men who said the women forced them to have sex while brandishing weapons.

However, DNA evidence disproved any link between the women and the men who contended they were abused.

The women will still face prostitution charges, authorities said.

When the trio's arrest was made public it was followed by a rush of men expressing fear of being attacked.

Fears were given extra impetus by widespread speculation that the sex workers were collecting semen for witchcraft.

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