I was raped in Italy and now I’m facing jail

Fashion student Serena was attacked in Florence

A student who says she was raped on a uni trip could serve up to 12 years in an Italian prison – after she was accused of making up the crime. 

Second year Serena Bowes is wanted by police in Florence to face trial for allegedly fabricating the attack.

The Newcastle College student, who reads Fashion, was warned that a court might convict her in her absence – so she could face extradition to Italy.


Serena Bowes on the right

Serena, 21, said: “I will never go back to Florence because of what happened, never mind going to prison there.

“If I receive a prison sentence, my life will be over.”

Serena said she was on a trip with her uni back in May when she was attacked in the unisex loo of a club.

She reported the assault to Italian police and she was also taken to hospital for tests.

But when she came back home she received a letter telling her she was being charged.


Now her mum, Adele, is seeking legal advice to help with Serena’s case.

Newcastle College Principal Carole Kitching said: “Serena has been offered counselling and we have been in contact with her MP about her case.”

A Foreign Office spokesman added: “We are aware of an incident involving a British national in May 2014.

“We provided consular assistance and stand ready to provide further support at this difficult time.”