Cheryl Ann Araujo (1961–1986) was an American rape survivor whose case became national news, and was the basis of the 1988 film The Accused. Araujo was gang-raped in 1983 at age 21 by four men on a pool table in a tavern while other patrons watched but did not interfere. During the prosecution, the defendants' attorneys cross-examined Araujo to such an extent that the case became widely seen as a template for "blaming the victim" in rape cases. The case also raised tensions between the Portuguese-American community and other ethnic groups in New Bedford, as the defendants were Portuguese immigrants. Her case was widely known as the "Big Dan's rape" after the name of the bar in which the attack occurred. On March 6, 1983, after putting her two daughters to sleep following the older daughter's third birthday party, Araujo left her home to buy cigarettes. The store she usually purchased from was closed, so she stopped at Big Dan's tavern in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Two men approached and asked her to leave with them. When she refused, a third man grabbed her from behind and threw her onto the bar's pool table. She was stripped below the waist, and several men raped her.
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