Rapist may have put drug in woman's drink with daterape drug

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The Independent Online
A woman who was raped near a nightclub may have accepted a drink which had been spiked, police said yesterday.

Officers are investigating the possibility that the woman was fed the so-called "date-rape drug" Rohypnol, which incapacitates women to the point where they are unable to resist their attackers.

The 20-year-old woman told police that, two days before Christmas, she accepted an offer of a drink from a man at the Rumbarbar nightclub in London's Trocadero Centre, but felt ill soon after drinking it. She went outside into the street, and believes she was then followed outside, where she was raped, possibly by more than one man.

The victim then wandered the streets "in a confused state" for several hours before going home, where she told friends what had happened. They then called the police.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "Tests showed she did not have an excessive level of alcohol in her bloodstream, so it is quite possible she may have been drugged. Toxicology tests are being done ... but we must keep an open mind."

Rohypnol, nicknamed Roofie, is a legal anaesthetic 10 times more powerful than Valium sometimes prescribed for back pain. It is manufactured by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche and is not available through the NHS, although it is sold in private clinics.

Last month, a charity was set up, the Roofie Foundation, to combat misuse of the drug which is claimed to have been used on hundreds of women in the UK and the US, where it is now illegal.

To combat the threat, Roche is developing a new tablet form which turns a bright blue colour when dissolved in any liquid.

The man who bought the woman the drink is described as white, about 6 ft tall, and of medium build. Anyone with any information can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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