• Germany's news in English
 
Teacher-student sex ban to be tightened
Photo: DPA

Teacher-student sex ban to be tightened

Published: 15 Nov 2012 10:37 GMT+01:00

The German Federal Court of Justice has previously held that a teacher must be in a position to potentially influence the student over a "longer period of time" in order to face criminal punishment.

This sort of custodial relationship was deemed to apply to teachers in the classroom, but not to substitute instructors or teachers who serve as chaperones on field trips.

In one case, a 32-year-old teacher in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate was acquitted last December after engaging in a sexual affair with a 14-year-old female student, whom he met while chaperoning a field trip.

The appeals court in Koblenz found that the man's behaviour was "inappropriate, indecent and irresponsible," but said he was not culpable, since there was no "custodial relationship" with the student, who thus did not qualify as a ward.

Now state justice ministers from Germany's 16 federal states are looking to tighten the rules, Die Welt newspaper said on Wednesday, ahead of the ministers' annual meeting on Thursday.

Hesse deputy state premier Jörg-Uwe Hahn, who chairs the Justice Ministers' Conference, told the paper that officials agreed on the need for clarification.

"In the future, this rule will not only apply to the classroom teacher specifically, but also to all teachers within a school," he said.

If the penal code is revised, culpability would not hinge on whether the teacher in question is a substitute - and the rules would also apply to adult caregivers in other kinds of institutions, such as children's homes.

"This behaviour is indecent and should therefore be subject to tougher criminal penalties in future," Hahn told Die Welt.

The states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Bavaria will reportedly be in charge of drawing up a draft law - but it is still an open question whether Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger will back the plan.

The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:09 November 15, 2012 by lucksi
"In one case, a 32-year-old teacher in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate was acquitted last December after engaging in a sexual affair with a 14-year-old female student"

WHAT?

The age of consent is 16, who cares what the rules about teacher-student sex says.

And yes, the age of consent if 14 if the other party is under 18, if you are feeling nitpicky, but the dude was 32.
15:59 November 15, 2012 by Omufu
Ja exactly! They left out the minor detail (excuse the pun) of her being 14. I don't know what to think. Are they saying that it's legally ok, or generally ok? Where I'm from anything like that would get the teacher so badly fired, legal or not.
16:53 November 15, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ lucksi

Can you please point out where you found the age of consent to be 16? Here is what I found:

Strafgesetzbuch (StGB): § 176 Sexueller Mißbrauch von Kindern

"Wer sexuelle Handlungen an einer Person unter vierzehn Jahren (Kind) vornimmt oder an sich von dem Kind vornehmen läßt, wird mit Freiheitsstrafe von sechs Monaten bis zu zehn Jahren bestraft." http://dejure.org/gesetze/StGB/176.html

Subsequently, § 182 (2) of the same German Criminal Code says "A person over twenty-one years of age who abuses a person under sixteen years of age, in that he: 1. commits sexual acts on the person or allows them to be committed on himself by the person; or 2. induces the person to commit sexual acts on a third person or to allow them to be committed on the person by a third person, and thereby exploits the victim's lack of capacity for sexual self-determination, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine. [...] The act shall only be prosecuted upon complaint, unless the prosecuting authority considers ex officio that it is required to enter the case because of the special public interest therein."

So under 16 it is punishable only if it is about exploiting the victim's lack of capacity for sexual self-determination and the victim files a complain. Otherwise 14 is the age of consent, disregarding the age of the other party.
20:26 November 15, 2012 by StoutViking
When a 32 year old is looking for sex partners while chaperoning field trips, it should raise a lot of questions. When he picks up a 14 year old for a ride, that's sexual grooming of adolescents. He's the responsible adult, he should know better but instead he uses the legal concent age of 14 as a fig leaf.

The fact that a 14 year old agreed to his advances is exactly the point where lack of capacity for sexual self-determination comes to act.

Then again, with magazines like "Bravo" where girls as young as 12 ask about how to engage in anal sex with their 19 year old "partner" and get an answer, instead of a request to turn to help... Go figure.
22:34 November 15, 2012 by lucksi
@ChrisRea: I stand corrected. I think. If I understood what "exploiting the victim's lack of capacity for sexual self-determination" exactly means.
07:58 November 16, 2012 by insight101
Wow! Great to see Germany continue to inch its way forward out of the Dark Ages....
10:10 November 16, 2012 by Ectherion
In Germay the age of consent is 14. You could like it or not, but that is the fact.

I don't know what is the AoC in US, but I assume 16. Therefore maybe for u guys this is unacceptable... but hey, at this age they are already married in some contries.
Today's headlines
'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP
Edathy preparing to face questions in Berlin Photo: DPA

'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP

A former rising star of German politics who resigned after pictures of naked children were allegedly found on his official laptop said Thursday what he did was "wrong, but legal." READ  

This week in history
A Brandt name to relaunch a country
Willy Brandt being sworn into office in 1972 Photo: DPA

A Brandt name to relaunch a country

We know him as Willy Brandt - but that was just a pseudonym the former chancellor took to avoid the Nazis. READ  

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find
A similar bomb defused in Potsdam in September 2013. Photo: DPA

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find

Local authorities evacuated some 10,000 people from central Potsdam after an unexploded Second World War bomb was found on a building site. READ  

Sunny outlook for business this winter
Photo: DPA

Sunny outlook for business this winter

German business confidence rose in December on the back of falling oil prices and a weak euro, the Ifo economic institute said Thursday, as the prospects for Europe's biggest economy grew sunnier. READ  

Merkel says Russia sanctions 'unavoidable'
Photo: DPA

Merkel says Russia sanctions 'unavoidable'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Thursday that sanctions against Russia remain "unavoidable" until Ukraine regains its sovereignty and independence. READ  

Reus fined €540k for no driving licence
Photo: DPA

Reus fined €540k for no driving licence

Germany and Dortmund football star Marco Reus was hit by a €540,000 fine Thursday, after state prosecutors in Dortmund confirmed he has been driving for years without a licence. READ  

British and German troops relive Xmas truce
Soldiers in World War One period uniforms watch the football match. Photo: DPA

British and German troops relive Xmas truce

Teams from the British and German armies played a friendly football game in Aldershot on Wednesday in memory of the Christmas truce of 1914. READ  

Germany hails Obama's 'courage' over Cuba
Former Cuban President Fidel Castro. Photo: DPA

Germany hails Obama's 'courage' over Cuba

Berlin has welcomed the thaw in US-Cuban relations partly brokered in secret by Pope Francis at the Vatican. READ  

American guilty of killing Hamburg student
Diren Dede's grieving parents outside the court in Missoula Photo: DPA

American guilty of killing Hamburg student

A US court has found a man who shot and killed 17-year old German exchange student Diren Dede guilty of deliberate homicide. READ  

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016
Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees road toll for foreigners from 2016

After months of bickering among the coalition parties, the cabinet finally agreed to put a road toll for foreigners before parliament, but open questions about its financial viability and legality remain. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,166
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd