Police reopen rape case of Irish woman after being linked to new Madeleine McCann suspect
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Police reopen rape case of Irish woman after being linked to new Madeleine McCann suspect

POLICE in Portugal have decided to reopen an unsolved rape case involving an Irish woman after claims of a link to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Hazel Behan, now 37, was sexually assaulted by a stranger in her apartment in 2004.

The Irish woman was working in Praia da Rocha in the Algarve at the time, some 30 minutes away from where three-year-old Madeleine was abducted from a room in the Praia da Luz resort in May 2007.

Despite the rape case going unsolved, it's understood that police have reopened the investigation to look into new evidence linking it to Christian B, a German sex offender who is currently the prime suspect in the McCann case.

Today, Sky News reports that, according to a source: "Detectives are looking again for new evidence and the investigation is reopened."

Christian B is known to have lived on the Algarve coast at the time Madeleine went missing.

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He's currently in jail in Germany for drug dealing, and is appealing against a conviction for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old woman, also in Praia da Luz.

Speaking to The Guardian last month, Ms Behan explained that when she first read about the new evidence in the McCann case, she couldn't believe it.

"My mind was blown when I read how he had attacked a woman in 2005, both the tactics and the methods he used, the tools he had with him, how well he had planned it out," she said.

"I puked, to be honest with you, as reading about it took me right back to my experience."