Three women in possession of 33 condoms containing semen were arrested and charged with 17 counts of aggravated sexual assault by the Zimbabwe police Friday. The arrest is believed to be a break in a series of sexual assaults over male hitchhikers over the past two years by women.

The women, in their mid-20s, were arrested in Gweru last Sunday, when their car met with an accident. The police found the condoms inside their car at the accident site.

Prosecutor Michael Reza told a court in Harare that the counts were for each of the 17 men who had identified the women as having sexually attacked them in the past years.

"Since Monday, 17 men came and positively identified the women as having raped them," said a police official, whose name was withheld on request. "Most of the men said the women would offer a drink either laced with something to tranquilize them or were forced at gunpoint."

Watch Ruparanganda, a professor of sociology at the University of Zimbabwe, told CNN : "Some sections of the society use these sperm for ritual purposes. The thinking is that it can be used for regeneration of life since they are source of life (biologically). Some people think that they can have their bad luck gone by using semen. I am sure that explains all this we have been witnessing (men being forced)."

The prosecution identified the suspects as Rosemary Chakwizira, 24, Sophie Nhokwara, 26, and her sister, Netsai Nhokwara, 24. The police expect more victims to testify in the coming days, against the arrested women.