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CRIME

Man given four months’ jail under new law for grabbing woman’s bum

A groper has been given a prison sentence in Germany, probably for the first time since the tightening of the sexual harassment law.

Man given four months' jail under new law for grabbing woman's bum
Judge Dirk Hertle sat in the district court in Bautzen, Saxony, where he sentenced the groper. Photo: DPA

On Wednesday the jury in Bautzen, Saxony, convicted a 27-year-old Libyan to a four-month custodial sentence without probation for grabbing a 34-year-old woman’s buttocks three times against her will on a public street.

“It may be the first conviction Germany-wide under the new regulation,” said Judge Dirk Hertle.

Paragraph 184i was implemented in the criminal code after the incidents in front of Cologne Cathedral on New Year’s Eve 2015, when hundreds of women reported that young men from North Africa sexually assaulted or robbed them.

The new paragraph became law in November 2016 and two weeks later, the crime in Bautzen took place, said Hertle.

“The faith in the constitutional state will only be strengthened if we consistently punish these sorts of crimes,” he added.

Many people were gathered outside the cathedral in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia on New Year's Eve 2015. Photo: DPA

“The sentence is indeed exorbitant, but that's how the lawmakers wanted it,” said Hertle on Thursday to DPA. 

The defendant denied the charge in court, stating that he had wanted to invite the woman to coffee, only touching her on the upper arm.

The 34-year-old victim gave the court a different account.

“First he wanted to know if he could borrow a lighter, then he wouldn’t leave my side. He grabbed me three times between the buttocks, even though I had told him that I didn’t want that,” she said.

The sentence also included a count of shoplifting.

Hertle referred to the high “rate of criminality” of the asylum seeker, who had only been living in Germany since March 2016 and who had also received a sentence for fare-dodging.

“He needed a warning shot,” said the judge. 

In his conviction, the judge met the punishment demanded by public prosecutors.

CRIME

German jailed for life in double police murder

A German man was given a life sentence on Wednesday for shooting dead two police officers to escape being caught for illegal game hunting during a routine traffic check.

German jailed for life in double police murder

The regional court in Kaiserslautern found 39-year-old Andreas Schmitt guilty of the killings in January this year, which sent shockwaves across Germany.

His co-defendant, referred to by the court as Florian V., was found guilty of abetting illegal poaching.

The 33-year-old was in the car with Schmitt when the officers discovered dead game in the boot, investigators said.

“We are all to this day horrified that a supposed routine control could turn into a fatal incident,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement after the verdict.

READ ALSO: German prosecutors say poaching led to double police murder

The victims were a 24-year-old woman police officer still in training and her colleague, a 29-year-old man.

The young woman was killed by a single shot to the head, while the man was shot four times, investigators said.

The officers were able to report that they were checking a suspicious vehicle and that shots were being fired before radio contact broke off.

When backup arrived, the woman was already dead and the man fatally injured. The perpetrators had fled the scene.

The crime in the Kusel district of Rhineland-Palatinate state triggered a major manhunt, with police deploying helicopters and sniffer dogs, sealing off roads and warning local residents not to pick up hitchhikers.

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