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Woman awarded record compensation for rape

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Judge Siegfried Mielke (centre). Photo: DPA
15:00 CET+01:00
A woman who was kidnapped and repeatedly raped for four days while she was a pregnant teenager has won €100,000 in damages - the most compensation ever awarded in Germany for such a case.

The woman, now 20, was just 16 when she was abducted by the then 29-year-old man who held her captive and raped her repeatedly.

He ignored her when she pleaded with him to stop, telling him she was four months pregnant.

The teenager was on her way to school in May 2009 when he jumped on her and dragged her to his flat in his parents' house just 300 metres from her home in Solingen in the western German state of North-Rhine Westphalia.

The Wuppertal district court which dealt with the case heard that he raped her for hours at least four times, and told her she he would never let her go.

He reportedly told a psychiatric expert he had enjoyed the entire episode and had even said: "Had I known how great it is, I would have done something like it much earlier."

She fortunately managed to escape his flat and fled to her home when he attended a family party, where he was arrested.

He was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison for kidnapping and rape. And although expert witnesses testified in court that he was particularly dangerous, because he had no previous convictions, the judge could not impose a preventative custody order which could be used to extend his sentence.

The court gave him a longer sentence than even prosecutors had demanded, citing the "unbelievable events".

Initially she was awarded €20,000 compensation, but this was raised to €100,000 on Tuesday by Judge Siegfried Mielke.

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"The compensation payments to victims of abuse have until now been far too low. We need a change in thinking - in favour of the victims," the daily newspaper Bild reported Mielke saying. "It cannot be that royals are paid hundreds of thousands of euros when photographs are taken without permission, yet rape victims are served significantly lower sums."

He said he wanted to set a new standard. The woman's lawyer Hendrik Prahl said the money would help her build a life with her child and husband.

DPA/The Local/hc

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