• Germany edition
 
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
Updated: 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
Amazon workers walkout again
Amazon workers striking in Graben, Bavaria, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Amazon workers walkout again

Four Amazon shipping centres in Germany were the target of fresh walkouts on Monday in a long-running wage dispute with the US online retail giant. READ  

Half of German navy helicopters grounded
A German navy Sea Lynx helicopter. Photo: DPA

Half of German navy helicopters grounded

Half of the German navy helicopter fleet has been grounded after engineers found large tears in the panelling of a British-made machine on deployment. READ  

Germans say 'bah humbug' to early Xmas
Photo: DPA

Germans say 'bah humbug' to early Xmas

Christmas treats have already hit the supermarket shelves, but Germans surveyed by YouGov say "too soon!", while a third of respondents are for the government taking action to name a release date for holiday wares. READ  

Hoeneß pays tax bill, takes day off prison
Photo: DPA

Hoeneß pays tax bill, takes day off prison

The disgraced former president of Bayern Munich FC, Uli Hoeneß has paid €30 million of his outstanding taxes, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday, and has taken a day off prison. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Fights and a skinny dip kick off Oktoberfest
Photo: DPA

Fights and a skinny dip kick off Oktoberfest

UPDATE: Paramedics and police were kept busy at the opening weekend of Munich's Oktoberfest, treating hundreds of revellers and arresting dozens, though it was still considered a peaceful start. READ  

Child warriors, 13, leave Germany for jihad
A photograph from the jihadist affiliated group Albaraka News allegedly shows a fighter from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) tying up an Iraqi soldier Photo: DPA/EPA

Child warriors, 13, leave Germany for jihad

Children as young as 13 are travelling from Germany to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic jihadists, according to German intelligence agencies. READ  

Germany rules out air strikes, troops in Iraq
Syrian refugees flee conflict to Turkey. Photo: DPA

Germany rules out air strikes, troops in Iraq

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday said Germany would not be involved in air strikes or any ground offensive in the fight against Islamic State (Isis) jihadists in Iraq. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's food
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's food

The Local's final and fourth guide to Oktoberfest tucks into some the finer victuals on offer. READ  

Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'
Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann: Photo: DPA

Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'

The head of Germany's powerful Bundesbank sharply criticised what he called a radical new approach by the European Central Bank of easy money, in an interview published Sunday. READ  

MH17 Crash
Families of German MH17 victims to sue
Australian and Dutch investigators examine a piece of debris of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane. Photo: EPA/DPA/ Igor Kovalenko

Families of German MH17 victims to sue

Relatives of German victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plan to sue Ukraine and its president for criminal negligence for not closing the country's airspace, a lawyer said Sunday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
DPA
Gallery
The best photos from Oktoberfest's opening weekend
Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen
Society
Europeans descended from three tribes
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,327
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd