The 18-year-old who was living in an asylum seeker centre near to where the attack took place had even tried to use the number to call his female victim before finally being arrested.
The attack, which was described by police as particularly violent, happened when the 52-year-old woman had gone to visit a friend in Innsbruck, in western Austria’s Tyrol state.
She was just ringing the doorbell when she was grabbed from behind, and then dragged to a nearby lawn. Although the rape happened where it could be clearly seen by anybody standing at the nearby windows, it did not stop the teenager.
Police said he had stripped her naked and raped her for 15 minutes, swearing at her in broken English when he realised that she had dropped her handbag as he had dragged her behind the building.
After sex, the man had forced her to exchange telephone numbers with him, and insisted that she save his number in her phone before running off.
The woman’s friend, who she had been trying to visit when she was attacked, had not been at home when the doorbell had been rung. But the friend had spotted the attacker running off as she returned.
When he was arrested, both the victim and her friend were able to clearly identify him, prompting Innsbruck police spokesman Hubert Rimml to say that for them, the police part of the investigation was now over.
He said: “The man was identified not only by the victim, but also by her friend. He also had the telephone on him when he was arrested.”
The asylum seeker had only arrived in Austria in January and had immediately applied for asylum. His victim who was hospitalised after the attack told police that she had often seen him walking around the area.
Police then discovered that he was living in an asylum centre nearby. He is one of 380 men living in the centre which now seems likely to be closed down at the end of April. Local Green party spokesperson for social affairs Christine Baur warned against prejudice towards the refugees, although at the same time stressing that violence against women should also be condemned.
She said that they planned to reassure people that they were safe by handing out pamphlets to fight against scaremongers.
The 52-year-old woman’s son said that his mother was still traumatised after what had happened, and confirmed that he had tried to call her after the rape. He said: “It is obviously a relief that he has been arrested, although it was still an enormous stress as the victim, for her to have to see him again to identify him.”
The teenager is currently being held in investigative custody.