Prison sentences for ten out of eleven suspects for group rape

In the months-long process of group rape of one 18 year old in Freiburg, the district court in the city of Baden-Württemberg has imprisonment sentences for ten of the imposed on eleven suspects. The court sentenced the main perpetrator to five and a half years in prison on Thursday, and seven other men to sentences between three and four years. Two of the defendants were given probation sentences of four and six months, one of the accused was acquitted. The judgments are not yet final. The parties to the process can appeal.

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The men had been accused on the night of 13. on the 14. October 2018 raped the drugged young woman in a bush near a nightclub or failed to help her. According to the judge, the men raped the woman one after the other. The presiding judge said that rape by more than one perpetrator at the same time cannot be proven with certainty.

It should have taken two and a half hours for the men who were between 18 and 30 years old, let go of their victim. When the 18 year old came to the disco, one of the accomplices is said to have helped her. DNA traces were later found on the young woman by several defendants.

In order to comply with the coronavirus rules, the trial did not take place in the court, but in a concert hall. The prosecutor's office had ordered eight years of imprisonment and juvenile sentences for eight suspects who were already detained during the trial. For two other defendants, the prosecution charged suspended parole for failing to provide assistance, and pleaded for an acquittal. The defenders demanded acquittals.

The case had led to a nationwide debate on foreign crime. Only one of the young men has a German passport. The accused declared themselves not guilty at the trial and stated that the woman had sex with them by mutual agreement.

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It is the second time within a short time that a rape case in Freiburg was the focus of attention nationwide; once again, the suspects are refugee young men. In March 2018 the Freiburg Regional Court condemned the 26 year old Hussein K. for murder in one in particular serious case of life imprisonment. He had dragged the 19 year-old medical student Maria L. on the bank of the Dreisam River from her bike on her way home from a party, raped it and then drowned it.

During the trial it became known that the Afghan had already attacked a young woman in Greece who narrowly avoided death.

The cases in Freiburg caused a lot of attention in the city and nationally, among other things, because the political and social climate is shaped by the university, traditionally liberal and tending to be open to migration. In the local elections, the Greens 2019 with 26, 5 percent of the vote, were once again the strongest force that came from the AfD only to 3.6 percent.

When the AfD called for a demonstration last October to protect “our country, our freedom and our women”, like the member of the parliament, Stefan Räpple formulated, faced 400 party supporters despite pouring rain 2000 against demonstrators, the Mayor Martin Horn (independent) demonstrated them.

The crime stirred up the city and kept him busy personally, said Horn of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Horn, who had only been in office for a few months at the time of the crime 2018, said he himself received thousands of hate comments. “Those were the hardest and most intense days in my work as Mayor,” he said. He praised the citizens of the city. “I think Freiburg reacted impressively.” He was “proud and grateful” that the majority of Freiburg had opposed generalizations. (ade, AFP, dpa)