Leo Gassmann saves tourist from rape in Rome: “She could have been my sister, I had to”

He heard her scream for help in the middle of the street, saw that young man who was now on her and stretched his hands all over her. Leo Gassmanthe 24-year-old singer-songwriter son of the actor Alessandro Gassman and of Sabrina Knaflitzgrandson of Vittorio, did not turn away. He didn’t hesitate for a second, stopped and helped that American girl, putting the assailant on the run and saving her from her rape.

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Leo Gassmann saves tourist from rape

The nightmare for the thirty-year-old, originally from the States but residing in Rome since her studies at the University, materialized around 4 on Saturday night in via di Portonaccio, in the Casal Bertone area, an eastern suburb full of clubs and discoclubs back to fill up with young people after the stop for the Covid emergency.


Leo Gassman had also spent the evening in the neighborhood and by now he was getting ready to go home. Suddenly in front of his eyes, however, an almost surreal scene opened up: in the traffic divider of the street, among parked cars and under the trees, among piles of old waste abandoned for who knows how long and never removed by the urban cleaning service, here is the figure of that girl who was asking for help in despair and of a young man who held her insistently. Not in an isolated area of ​​the capital: a few steps away is the entrance to the Atac depot, the Capitoline municipal transport system, from which, at five o’clock, the first rows of buses in service leave. Also within a few meters is the large Amazon storage warehouse, operating practically 24 hours a day. Yet the comings and goings of cars and vehicles did not prevent the aggressor from acting, bold.


Leo Gassman himself remembers how it happened, who also published a story on Instagram about what happened: “Last night I and some passers-by we rescued an American girl who had been abused by a boy of French origin shortly before – he explains – I heard the screams and went over and asked a couple of guys who were passing by for a hand, but the Frenchman had already fled ». Then the note: “Whoever makes a mistake must be punished”. Leo and the other boys also called the police and the crew of an ambulance arrived on the spot and gave the girl the first treatment, accompanying her to the emergency room of the Policlinico Umberto I for checks.


The policemen, who arrived from the police stations of Porta Pia and Fidene, stopped for a long time to collect the first testimonies and immediately started a manhunt. The road was brightly lit by the headlights of the steering wheels, the patch of land passed through a sieve. The cameras scattered along the street and near the premises are also being examined. The hypothesis is that both the thirty-year-old and her attacker were veterans of the night spent in one of the premises about fifty meters away. Perhaps there was also an approach within or just outside of them. He would have made her drink or, more simply, he would have tried to take advantage of her state of weakness due to a few too many drinks. All circumstances that investigators will now have to clarify.
The young American was discharged from the hospital with a prognosis of two days. She left the hospital, she filed a sexual assault report at the Salario district offices. “I know that she has recovered and she is better, but she has suffered a considerable trauma, even I will never forget her screams”, says Leo Gassman reached on the phone of her. The singer-songwriter, also at the forefront in the fight against bullying, protagonist of various initiatives, urges everyone to never turn around. “Each of us can always make a difference,” he says. “It can happen to anyone to find themselves in an unpleasant situation or to witness a similar fact and often we are afraid to intervene, instead we all have a civic duty to act. That girl could have been my sister or my girlfriend. I couldn’t leave it there. “


It is not the first time that a foreign woman suffers violence or an attempted violence in the capital. So much so that, in recent years, in the pre-Covid era, some foreign embassies, including the English and American ones, had issued a sort of anti-turnip vademecum (rapes) for tourists and students heading to Rome. “Beware of spiked drinks,” the British warned. “Alcohol and drugs make you less attentive and alert to the environment around you. Do not leave food and drink unchecked because the victims of drugged cocktails can be robbed and attacked », the alert.


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Leo Gassmann saves tourist from rape in Rome: “She could have been my sister, I had to”

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