Summer camp sex abuse investigation widens

The gang of teenagers who sexually assaulted younger boys at a holiday camp on the island of Ameland was larger than previously thought, with authorities announcing Thursday they were investigating 13 youths over the attacks.

Summer camp sex abuse investigation widens
Photo: DPA

As fresh details emerged about the incident, the Osnabrück state prosecution office in Lower Saxony revised their previous statement that six to eight youths aged 13 to 16 were under investigation.

The attackers allegedly used objects including cola bottles and broomstick handles to sexually assault between six and eight boys, all aged about 13, it was revealed.

The incidents have led to a debate about the need to improve supervision on summer camps. The Lower Saxony state sporting federation has already announced it will examine further measures for training of supervisors.

The attacks occurred in early July on the Dutch island of Ameland, in a youth dormitory of a holiday camp sponsored by the city of Osnabrück’s municipal sports association.

Two of the alleged perpetrators, both aged 13, had at first been victims themselves.

Three of the suspects had already admitted the offences, a spokesman for the prosecutors’ office said.

State prosecutors are also considering whether to charge supervisors with failure to assist. According to the prosecutors, supervisors failed to intervene after assault victims turned to them for help.

The Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung reported on Wednesday that further attacks were avoided only after the victims aggressively defended themselves, refused to be dragged from their beds, or fled out the dormitory’s fire escape.

Around 100 children attended the holiday camp in Buren on the island. The incident came to light only after a mother of one child contacted the police after his return.

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Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners