An 18-year-old boy remained unconscious for two weeks after being gang-raped by five perpetrators in Morocco's Beni Mellal.

Moroccan authorities have launched an investigation into the incident and  arrested four suspects, while the fifth remains on the run, according to Moroccan news outlet Hespress.

According to Hespress' sources, the victim was drugged and assaulted in the Beni Mellal region last month. He remained unconscious for 15 days after the incident and has been struggling to control his bodily functions.

After investigating the crime, the Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie in the region identified and arrested four of the five suspects, who turned out to be involved in drug trafficking. 

The gendarmerie also noted that one of the detainees has a criminal record in cases involving rape.

Authorities are currently searching for the fifth suspect and investigations are still underway.

Sexual assault is on the rise in Morocco

The country has witnessed a string of alarming sexual assault cases during the past year. The cases include gang-rape, rape in public places, as well as the assault of minors and people with special needs.

Citing an annual report issued by the Moroccan King's Attorney General, Mohamed Abdel Nabawi, Morocco World News revealed that the rate of reported rapes increased from a prior average of 800 cases to 1,600 cases in 2017.

For instance, in a crime that made international headlines last year, a group of teenage boys sexually assaulted a woman on a public bus and no one intervened to help her.

Similarly, back in 2016, a 16-year-old Moroccan teenager committed suicide after being abducted and gang-raped by eight men. An autopsy of her body revealed she was pregnant at the time.