Rape suspected among children at weight-loss camp
German state prosecutors are investigating reports of rape and sexual abuse among children who were spending several weeks at a weight-loss clinic on the posh North Sea island of Sylt, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.
One child’s mother filed a report several weeks ago to report the alleged incidents at the facility, said spokeswoman Ulrike Stahlmann-Liebelt. Possible victims are being questioned to clarify exactly what happened.
“Then we’ll have to see if there are responsible parties,” she said, adding that the authorities were currently investigating “in all directions.”
They are certain, however, that all of the children involved were younger than 14, and thus too young for criminal prosecution.
According to daily Bild, a group of nine to 13-year-olds were involved in a series of rapes at the health clinic on the island town of Westerland in July and August. The game “spin-the-bottle” allegedly degenerated into some of the children being forced into sex, the paper said.
The case is similar to incidents that came to light in July, when eight teenage boys admitted to sexually abusing other younger boy at a summer camp on Dutch island of Ameland.
The attackers allegedly used objects including cola bottles and broomstick handles to sexually assault six boys, all aged about 13. The incidents occurred at the youth dormitory of a holiday camp sponsored by the city of Osnabrück’s municipal sports association.
The incidents led to a debate about the need to improve supervision at summer camps. The Lower Saxony state sporting federation has already announced it will examine further measures for training of supervisors.