German government backs off unpopular teen sex law: report

German government backs off unpopular teen sex law: report
Photo: DPA
The German government is likely to back off a proposal for a new sex crimes law that some experts said could have criminalized normal teenage dating, according to a newspaper report on Tuesday.

German Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries, a Social Democrat, agreed to revisions after meeting with legal experts from Germany’s ruling parliamentary coalition of Social Democrats (SPD) and Christian Democrats (CDU), the newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung reported.

Parliament was reacting to criticism from legal experts and sex researchers who said the law could have put normal teenage sexual behaviour into a legal grey area.

Under the original proposal teenagers between 14 and 17 years old could have faced charges for using money or other something else of value to encourage sexual contact from another minor. A previous law had only applied to adults over 18 years of age.

Though the revised proposal will still apply to teenagers, CDU legal spokesman Jürgen Gehb told the newspaper it would only apply when a suspect intentionally takes advantage of a victim’s financial situation in order to get sex.

Critics said the original rule could have left teens facing charges after making out on a movie date.