Thugs who brutally gang-raped and murdered university student took her underwear as a 'sick trophy'
Hannah Cornelius, 21, was dropping off a fellow student, Cheslin Marsh, 22, at his residence in Stellenbosch, west of Cape Town, after a night out, when she was attacked
Jurors heard on Monday that a university student who was kidnapped, gang-raped, and murdered in South Africa may have been stripped of her underwear during the assault which the gang took as a sick trophy.
21-year-old Hannah Cornelius "did not scream or fight" when she was raped, according to one of the attackers. She allegedly agreed to "have sex with them" in a desperate bid for survival, he claimed last week.
According to News 24 reporter Tammy Peterson, Prosecutor Lenro Badenhorst said today that Cornelius may have been killed after she realized they wanted to rape her again and fought back.
According to Peterson, the lawyer suggested "this could be why pants was halfway down and she had not been wearing underwear when her body was found. He argues her attackers could have kept her underwear as trophies."
Cornelius was dropping off 22-year-old Cheslin Marsh, a fellow student, at his residence in Stellenbosch, west of Cape Town, after a night out, when she was carjacked by the four men.
Vernon Witbooi, 33, Nashville Julius, 29, Geraldo Parsons, 27, and Eben van Niekerk, 28, brutally raped and murdered Cornelius after allegedly robbing and assaulting Marsh and leaving him for dead, Daily Mail reports.
She had allegedly bargained with them in a desperate bid for survival and agreed that, as long as they did not hurt her and let her go afterward, they could have sex with her, Parsons told Western Cape Court last week.
Parsons broke down in tears while making a full confession to the charges of rape, murder, kidnap and robbery. He claimed that he had a girlfriend and young children and so did not want to rape Cornelius, but that he "did it anyway." She "did not scream or fight when they raped her", he claimed.
However, when authorities asked Parson to explain the scratches and abrasions on his face upon his arrest, he did not have an answer.
He was also questioned in the courtroom about why his penis was studded with "plastic pearls", according to Peterson, who tweeted about it during the trial.
According to Peterson, Parsons claimed the genital decorations "was part of his Jewish religion" after saying they were "private" to him.
The gang allegedly went on a robbery spree in the hijacked car after the rape and murder of Cornelius, during which they robbed at least three women before the stolen car was spotted by authorities. A high-speed police chase ensued right after.
Three of the attackers dumped the car and were arrested soon after. The fourth was arrested later.