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German court jails two men for holding sex slaves

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German court jails two men for holding sex slaves
The dog cage where the women were held. Photo: DPA
17:03 CEST+02:00
A German court on Wednesday handed heavy jail sentences to two men for abducting, raping and keeping three women as sex slaves in a house in Garlstedt near Bremen in 2006.

The young women, who contacted the men thinking they were offering jobs or a room for rent, were tortured and humiliated for several months. The court convicted the men of kidnapping, human trafficking, rape and sexual harassment.

The 42-year-old Stefan K. will spend the next 14 years behind bars and his accomplice, 55-year-old Bernd K., was sentenced to 12.5 years in jail. They also were both ordered to pay €150,000 in compensation to each victim.

Presiding Judge Volker Stronczyk said the defendants had serious personality disorders that would allow them to subject the women to such “intense psychological duress.” He based his ruling on the assumption that Stefan K. was likely to remain “dangerous up to an advanced age” and that an expert had determined he was a perverse sexual sadist.

The 14-month trial was closed to the public, but harrowing details of the women's ordeal have now been made known. The two men originally planned to open a brothel in early 2006. But after no one answered an advertisement, they decided to abduct women and force them into prostitution.

The first woman, a 23-year-old psychology student, was imprisoned on August 14, 2006 after she came in response to an ad for a promotion job. The men threatened to kill her if she didn't do their bidding, but for reasons the court did not explain they did not prostitute her during her three months in captivity.

The second victim fell into their clutches in September 2006. Like the first woman, she was occasionally forced to stay in a dog cage. However, the men also raped her and offered her to other paying customers.

The third woman was imprisoned in October 2006 after she came looking for a room to rent. Fortunately she was able to flee – naked and handcuffed – the same day through a window in the house's attic, bringing the horrible ordeal of the other women to end after police were alerted.

“One can only ask with fright how it might have continued otherwise,” the judge said.

dpa/ddp

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