Fact Check

Was a Pregnant Woman Raped by a Muslim Refugee in Michigan?

A false story used photographs of an Argentinian domestic abuse survivor to advance a claim with no basis in fact.

Published May 16, 2017

Image Via Shutterstock
Photographs show a pregnant woman named Paola Lynn who was raped by a Muslim refugee in Michigan.

On 11 May 2017, the web site EEUU News published two photographs of a woman with a badly bruised face along with an article that included claim that the woman, identified as Paola Lynn, was pregnant and that she had been raped by a Muslim refugee in Hamtramck, Michigan:

A refugee from Syria has been arrested on suspicion of raping a 38-year-old woman in HAMTRAMCK, Michigan. The woman was attacked , [sic] on Sunday.

The suspect, 40, who has lived in USA since 2013, was charged with rape and placed in police custody.

Paola told her about her experience on Facebook. I finish with fractured skull, broken septum and bruises all over the body.

Nearly verbatim copies of this article soon found their way onto disreputable web sites such as Barenaked Islam, TEO Info, and Angry American 3, and the (unfounded) rumor quickly proliferated on social media. Although the photographs included in these reports are not doctored, the accompanying false story has no relation to the photograph.

These photographs show an Argentinian woman named Paola Mascambruni (not Lynn) who shared her experiences with domestic violence in a March 2017 Facebook post:

Mascabruni explained that Rodrigo Eduardo Picolini, the father of her youngest son, had hit her repeatedly since they first met in 2009. When she gave him "one more chance" in March 2017, he beat her for two hours and left her with a skull fracture and acute nasal trauma. According to Spanish-language media:

"He locked the doors. He undressed me. He grabbed me by the shoulders and broke a window with my back. He kicked and punched me all over my body, tried to hang me. The nicest thing he called me was 'whore'. I asked him to calm down. I would say, 'Rodrigo, please, you're going to kill me.' And he would say yes, of course, that he was going to kill me."

The sequence of events lasted two hours and ended with Paola Mascambruni (38) jumping a railing and throwing herself into the street as if it was a pool. The woman, who is alive by a miracle, is a mother of four boys. The youngest is the son of his aggressor, Rodrigo Eduardo Picolini (35), whom she had given "one more chance". Last Thursday he attacked her with blows: she has a skull fracture, an acute nasal trauma for which she required intervention, several loose teeth, a discolored neck, a burst blood vessel in her eye, and bruises all over her body.

There are no reports of a pregnant woman being raped by a Muslim refugee in Michigan.


Galinsky, Paula.   "Le Levantaron La Perimetral y Volvió Con Su Ex: Le Pegó Durante Dos Horas Hasta Desfigurarla."     Clarin.   19 March 2017.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.