The man accused of attempting to rape the daughter of Pécs mayor Zsolt Páva in the early hours of 4 April had turned himself in to police after nine days in hiding, Baranya County Police announced on Sunday.
Zoltán Nyerges, 23, a Roma raised in a state orphanage and who was released in January after serving five years’ jail for rape, was placed in pre-trial detention on Monday. Police had issued a warrant for his arrest after closed-circuit cameras caught the attack.
Páva’s daughter, 20, was walking back from a university party when she was assaulted. She managed to flee but suffered severe injuries and required hospitalisation, the mayor and Fidesz MP said.
The attack came a few months after the rape and murder of Pécs police psychologist Kata Bándy by a Roma man, prompting concerns of a new wave of anti-Roma feeling similar to the one that saw extreme-right party Jobbik and related organisations call for restoring capital punishment.
Roma offer reward
Roma authorities called on Roma people to help detectives find Nyerges. The National Roma Council (ORÖ) offered a HUF 100,000 (EUR 339) reward for help in his capture.
Some 250 people, mostly women but including Fidesz MP for Pécs János Kõvári and Jobbik MP Zsolt Németh, gathered in Pécs’s Széchenyi square before moving to Baranya County Police Headquarters last week to call for improvements in the city’s public safety.
“We need action to ensure that women can feel safe when they go out into the street,” event organiser and Pécs University student Andrea Csizmadia told the gathering.