The court in Memmingen, Bavaria, sentenced Heinz-Dieter G. to seven years behind bars back in 1996, for apparent sexual abuse and rape of his daughter. In 2009, the woman retracted the claims and on Tuesday, the 62-year-old man was finally cleared. The daughter will not be punished.
Nina G., now 33 years old, cried in court as she told the judge her story, Spiegel news site reported. She explained that her parents would constantly fight, and as a child she believed that her father caused her mother to develop cancer. Her mother has since died.
“My hatred towards my father got bigger and bigger,” she said in court. “I believed that I had to get revenge on my horrible father.” It was then, as a 15-year-old, that she went to the police and a doctor and told them she had been raped some years earlier.
To make her story believable, she checked her mother's old planners and picked out dates when she was out of the house.
By the time the court sentenced her father, Nina G. was suffering from serious guilt, particularly as her younger brother had been placed which a foster family. “I did not have the courage or the honesty to turn back,” she said.
As she got older the guilt increased. But it was not until her daughter was born five years ago that she finally decided to confess to her lie.
When the case was reopened, the court's initial handling of the trial was criticized. Why, Spiegel pointed out, had no-one wondered why the girl said she was raped four to five times, but then changed it to 15 to 20 times?
The court in 1996 finally ruled that Heinz-Dieter G. raped his daughter three times between 1989 and 1991, when she was between nine and 10 years old. “It was not a fair trial,” he said on Tuesday.
Nina G. will not face legal consequences. The court on Tuesday said that too much time had passed since the accusation.