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Top CDU man resigns over love affair with teen

The Local · 15 Aug 2011, 08:04

Published: 15 Aug 2011 08:04 GMT+02:00

Christian von Boetticher, 40, who was set to lead Chancellor Angela Merkel's party in its fight to retain power the north German state next May, stood down from that position on Sunday night after a more than two-and-a-half hour meeting with his state party leadership.

“Yes it is true, I fell in love with a young woman in the spring of 2010, and was with her for several months,” he told a press conference.

“It was quite simply, love,” he said, in tears, admitting that at the time the girl was just 16 years old.

“I would like to apologise with all my heart to all those people who I have disappointed and who placed great hope in me.”

He said that at the time he was seeing the teenager, he was not in a relationship with anyone else and that although it was what he called an, “unusual love,” it had been accepted by people around him.

It was not a private mistake, but clearly a political one, he said, that he had not understood at the time what such a relationship would mean to his candidacy in the next state election campaign.

Now he was stepping down to prevent his party from political damage, “but in particular to protect beloved people in my private and intimate life,” he said.

Several regional media reported over the weekend that Boetticher and the girl, who is from North-Rhine Westphalia, had met over Facebook and swapped numerous emails before meeting in March 2010. When he was made top election campaign candidate in May, Boetticher had finished the relationship.

Since he took over the chairmanship of the state party last September, he said he had repeatedly been confronted with speculation over his private life.

“There were several journalists who appeared to be certain that I was gay and were expecting an ‘outing’,” he said.

The regional CDU chapter has planned a meeting on Tuesday to decide what to do next. Although the relationship was legal, said the state party chairwoman Angelika Volquartz, Boetticher had made clear that he had wrongly estimated the moral components to it.

Story continues below…

Boetticher is expected to remain state parliamentary leader of the party, but it will now have to scramble to reconfigure its campaign effort for the election next May.

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

08:30 August 15, 2011 by William Thirteen
indeed, may / december relationships rarely work out well...
09:36 August 15, 2011 by zeddriver
Sad what politics has become these days. While the halls of government are mostly filled with thieves. This guy gets the boot over a perfectly legal relationship. Granted, With the vast age difference these sort of relationships normally don't last a long time. But! Isn't it their business and not the public's.

This guy could have been the rare good guys for all we know.

I find it rather odd that in this point in history. One must be as pure as the driven snow. Virginal, And more perfect than Jesus to get into high office. Yet it seems once they get into office and become dishonest and morally bankrupt. People will reelect them.
09:58 August 15, 2011 by auniquecorn
2 things really bother me about this pervert,

1. it had been accepted by people around him?

all I can say is What the?

2. They met on facebook?

So he´s stalking children on facebook?

So, whats he get, a slap on the wrist and a pay raise,

Where´s that little girls father, when the perverts seeing her.
10:17 August 15, 2011 by golfcricket
@ auniquecorn - I could elaborate more on what you have already stated, but I think everyone should get the point.. What a sick/perverted individual... Legal?? She's just a kid.. The guy needs some serious help...
10:21 August 15, 2011 by jomamas
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:38 August 15, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
11:12 August 15, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
Ultimately, no laws were broken, everything was consensual, and therefore a private matter. I am not sure I would have allowed my 16 year old daughter (which I don't have) to date a 39 year old. But in the end, I fail to see the scandal in all this, let alone a reason to resign.

If politicians are held to such high standards now in this country and have to resign not because they broke the law (which, again, in this case the guy clearly did not), but because they have offended the moral sentiments of some, how come there are still dozens (potentially hundreds) of lying, cheating, bribe taking and embezzling politicians in power, who when they are found out don't even think about stepping down, deny any wrongdoing, and often have to be removed from office kicking and screaming...
11:54 August 15, 2011 by frankiep
So many things wrong with this I don't know where to begin.

Why is it legal for a middle aged man to date a 16 year old girl?

Legal or not, what kind of people who were aware of what was going on would actually approve of it?

How could a middle aged politician not have realised that that dating a 16 year old girl would, legal or not, ruin his career?

What kind of parents would allow their 16 year old daughter to date a middle aged man?

Just all around creepy.
11:56 August 15, 2011 by yourholiness
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:18 August 15, 2011 by supernova
If the girl was fourteen I'd understand it but sixteen shouldn't . From age of sixteen, you are allowed to get drunk and do hanky panky.

Besides there are women who deliver babies in age of twelve in this country. It must be legal to love a girl in age of sixteen or constitution MUST ban the alcohol freedom in age of sixteen.
14:55 August 15, 2011 by yourholiness
Other cultures struggling for dominance in europe set the permissible age as low as nine. In a few years folks may wonder what all the fuss was about.
14:59 August 15, 2011 by Ludinwolf
Conservative... preservative... stupidy.... disrespect to his and society principles over a thrill session, now he talks about love?
15:40 August 15, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Sorry, but Germany doesn't have the same puritanical streak about sex that the US does. Having lived both here, and there, I am well qualified to observe the differences.

Also, German teenagers are faced with adult decisions sooner than American ones are, so they are generally a bit more emotionally put together. She's 16, she's old enough to know better; if they want to get a little spank & tickle in, it's not really our business. Yeah, it's definitely pushing the extremes, and I'm not sure it's behavior I'd like to see in a politician, but the man isn't a pervert or whatnot. It's not as if he's attracted to a pre-pubescent.
16:28 August 15, 2011 by hanskarl
Regardless of the law, ethos of mores of Germany he should have known politically to never even run for this position after this affair. He should have quietly moved aside and taken a nonviable role within the party to protect it from this situation. The fact he continued to go for the top position in Schleswig-Holstein shows his personal pride, overt ambition and self centered desires ruled the day, not common sense.
17:20 August 15, 2011 by neunElf
"Sorry, but Germany doesn't have the same puritanical streak about sex that the US does. Having lived both here, and there, I am well qualified to observe the differences."

You are the expert on societal sexuality in both the US and DE simply by the fact that you have lived in both countries?

Wish I had known that, it would have saved me a lot of those pesky university fees!
17:26 August 15, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
@neunElf

I'm obviously not a sociologist, and if you're actually under the impression that I implied as such, I feel sorry for you. Otherwise, you're obviously just trying to paint me in some questionable color.

It would take a big ripe idiot to not notice the differences in sexual behavior between Germans and Americans, when having observed both.
17:35 August 15, 2011 by yourholiness
I've lived in both countries and in my opinion there is not such a big difference in sexual mores between germany and the US, at least in the larger cities. It all comes down to the fact that men need sexual relief and women get as high a price as they can for providing that relief whether it be as a slut, a single dating girl, or a woman seeking the commitment of marriage.
18:54 August 15, 2011 by mikhal
I can guarantee you now that 16 year old was at the "SlutWalk"!

I really detest political parties who use words to lie to the public about who they really are. I just hope people can realize that anyone can say they are a Christian but living and being one is something completely different.

The "Christian Democratic Union" more like the "Immoral Democratic Union".

"CDU" to the "IDU" well they actually always where the "IDU"

But i am cool because i know that these deceivers will rot one day.

I do not care what anyone says for a girl to be 16 and he 40 is totally an Un-Christian and Un-Godly act. 24 years age difference, he might as well be Hugh Hefner.

If she was 30 and he 50, it is more acceptable. If you cannot see why these acts are Un-Godly well then you are not with God. I bet he is an atheist in a supposedly Christian party.

No love can come from such a relationship, well no true love. She is in it definitely for the money and maybe fame and he well obvious to all isn't it.

"auniquecorn" has summed it all up.

I see no difference between him and a Pedophilia.

I pray the CDU goes down to the grown and is walked on like a piece of dirt that they are.

"particular to protect beloved people in my private and intimate life"!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the hell. They will only hate him more for stepping down to be with a 16 year old. Those who are not disgusted by this should not walk free in society.

I would rather give my vote to the plagiarizer's than him any day.

If i am not mistaken Adolph Hitler had more morals than this guy.
19:46 August 15, 2011 by ngwanem
is it legal in germany to pursue relationships with a 16 year old, when one is a senior (18+)? i used to think it the girl must be 18+ and above, for it not to be classified as statutory rape... am i wrong here? i need elucidation from other commentators
22:59 August 15, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
@ngwanem:

There is only one "cut-off" age for statutory rape in the strict sense, and that is 14, below which the German Penal Code holds consent to sexual activitiy to be invariably impossible. Age of consent laws in Germany are a bit more complex and elaborate than for example in most of the U.S., rightly reflecting the fact that youths evolve in their capacities and decision making abilities as they progress through their teen years. Between 14 and 15, the age limit for the older partner is 21, but to constitute a criminal offense, a person over 21 must specifically exploit the younger person's lacking ability for sexual self-determination, the burden of proof being with the prosecution in each individual case. From the age of 16, a youth can legally have consensual sex with any person older than them, whether that person is over 18 or not.

Regardless of these relatively liberal laws, however, it is always a criminal offense to engage in sexual activity with a minor under 18 if force, threats, or coercion are involved, or if a recognized position of power is exploited (by teachers, tutors, coaches, superiors in a workplace, foster parents... you get the idea). If the older partner is over 18, it is also a criminal offense to have sex with a minor in exchange for money.

That's German statutory rape laws in a nutshell... there's more on wikipedia, look up "Ages of Consent in Europe" there. I think the laws as they are strike a sound balance between the need for protection of minors from sexual exploitation, and young people's right to start expressing and finding their sexuality as they mature.
23:05 August 15, 2011 by Zlik
Clearly Numbers will outlive, us all.
23:51 August 15, 2011 by Logic Guy
Well, although I see attractive 15 and 16 year old young women often, I would never be so stupid as to approach one with intimacy in mind. Sure, middle-aged men occasionally have a fantasy about being with a much younger woman.

This alone is not immoral. But when such men become sexually "Excited", then they should simply go find an adult!

For the most part, humans only have problems when they don't do as they should.
08:13 August 16, 2011 by William Thirteen
tell us more about your "desires" Logic Guy!
12:56 August 16, 2011 by Karisu
I tend to agree with Der Grenadier aus Aachen and iseedaftpeople. It was well said. No laws were broken, it was consenual, and it is a private matter between two people etc etc. However since he is in politics it gets kind of messy...
11:24 August 17, 2011 by Mikokami
This guy is just disgusting, like most people are, who lust for power and prestige.

Morally corrupt, with no integrity and common sense, he betrays every value he idiological and political wanted to stand for.

- contra bonos mores -
17:04 August 17, 2011 by ECSNatale
hahahahaha... to those who said that it was "un Christian" for a 40 year old to date a 16 year old... have you never actually read the Bible? Yet more proof of the stupidity of the so called faithful.

Yet, this seems quite simple. The age of consent here is 16. Don't like it? Tough. Think it is gross? Look back to history to see that these types of couplings were quite normal... it was not so long ago that women were looking to have their daughters wedded and out of the house by 16-18.

While the man did not break any laws, his judgment at consorting with such a young person is what comes into question. if she'd been 20 and he was 45 no one would really have batted an eye. In the end... IT'S NONE OF OUR BUSINESS YOU PEEPING TOM PERVERTS!
18:23 August 17, 2011 by The-ex-pat
Just for future reference, I was wondering if the moralists could tell me what is the lower end of the dating scale that they would find acceptable. I am 40-ish and just in case I enter the dating game (again), it would be great to know where the cut off point is for being or not being a pervert or dirty old man??
19:09 August 17, 2011 by Gretl
@The ex-pat - 35, max 30. If you are old enough to be their father, you're too old.
02:03 August 18, 2011 by yourholiness
Too old! Too old for what? My wife is half my age and we have a lovely baby boy whom we both adore. You can stick that age judgmental thing in the garbage where it belongs.
02:51 August 18, 2011 by DavidtheNorseman
It's a statistical outrider relationship. Sometimes people meet people who are 20+ years older/younger than they are and click. It's always unacceptable to some (I've seen angry children, furious parents etc.) though it does sometimes work (two female students marrying their teachers have had successful 20+ year marriages to date..).

Point 1. It was legal and he was single but obviously his political party considered it a liability so out he goes (every relationship comes with some costs).

Point 2. I've always said you keep your distance as if there was a potential for a relationship if the other person is between 14 and 84 (if you're into the too young or too old - remembering attraction is about reproduction - perhaps you need to reflect with help on that). The bigger the age gap the less likelihood for trouble but you never know....

For the record my wife of decades is 13 months younger than I and the youngest woman I've ever been interested in. I still treat the young ones with that old-fashioned polite distance. They are human and so am I.
01:06 August 20, 2011 by planedr
So, is she hot?
02:48 August 20, 2011 by johnprewett
Based on this account, seems to me America and Germany have similar views [and internal debate] regarding sexual mores. I wonder if a French or Italian pol would have felt forced to step down.
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