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.

Rape suspected among children at weight-loss camp
Photo: DPA

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.


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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.

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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