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‘Narcissistic’ ex-politician admits filming sex acts was like ‘collecting trophies’

Former Social Democrat (SPD) politician Linus Förster confessed in a Bavarian court on Monday to most of the accusations of sexual abuse of several woman against him.

'Narcissistic' ex-politician admits filming sex acts was like 'collecting trophies'
Linus Förster in court. Photo: DPA.

The 52-year-old's lawyer presented the statement at the beginning of the trial at the regional court in Augsburg.

Linus Förster, a former member of parliament who also holds a doctorate in political science, is accused of sexually assaulting sleeping women and secretly filming the act.

“I'm sorry, it was wrong,” Förster said, reported the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ). Apologetic for his deeds, Förster in court provided extensive details on the individual acts he had committed.

Since his youth he had sought confirmation through sex, he explained, which saw him cross the line just to satisfy those needs. He also spoke of having a “narcissistic ego,” claiming he had had psychological problems in the past and had also spent time in a clinic.

The once-successful politician had fallen from being a member of the Bavarian state parliament with a monthly salary of more than €7,000 to a sex offender who will likely spend several years in prison, according to the SZ.

In one case Förster admitted to, he had sexually assaulted a drunk, sleeping woman at a garden party. He also admitted to secretly switching on his video camera while having sex with two women in another instance.

Attempting in court to explain why, he said it was a “crazy idea” which gave him “a kick”. When the judge asked him whether these films were something like trophies for him, he replied: “I guess you have to see it that way.”

Förster is also charged with owning more than 1,300 child pornography images and films which were found during police raids.

But the ex-politician denies having procured this material with intent, claiming these photos and videos were transferred to his computers when he “downloaded files from the Internet at random.”

“I have no paedophilic tendencies,” stated Förster, adding that he finds child pornography “disgusting,” though could not explain why he didn't delete the material.

Since Förster has confessed to most of his crimes, he can expect a prison sentence of just under four years. Without a confession, the public prosecutor's office would have aimed for a sentence of six years.

The only accusation Förster rejected was the case in which he allegedly tried to abuse another drunken, sleeping woman in his apartment. “That's not true,” said Förster, who explained that the alleged victim had even enthusiastically written to him in a message after their evening together.

Förster resigned from the SPD as well as from his state parliament mandate at the end of 2016 because of the sex allegations.

He has been in custody since December of last year. A verdict on the trial is expected by the end of September.

CRIME

One injured in school shooting in Bremerhaven

A 21-year-old gunman opened fire at a secondary school in northern Germany on Thursday, badly injuring a female member of staff before being arrested, police said.

One injured in school shooting in Bremerhaven

The incident happened at the Lloyd Gymnasium school in the centre of Bremerhaven, a city on Germany’s North Sea coast, on Thursday morning. 

“The armed person has been arrested and is in police custody,” police said in a statement. The injured woman was not a pupil, police said.

They said the suspect had entered the school building and fired at a female member of staff, who was “seriously injured”.

The alarm was quickly raised and police said they detained the suspect at a nearby location soon after and had seized his weapon at the scene.

The injured woman is being treated in hospital.

A video circulating on social media and German news sites appeared to capture the moment the gunman was arrested.

A man dressed in black is seen lying face down on a street corner, with a weapon next to him, before being handcuffed by officers.

But there was no immediate confirmation of reports the alleged weapon was a crossbow.

Bremerhaven police tweeted in the morning that a large deployment was under way in the city centre and asked residents to avoid the Mayor-Martin-Donandt square and surrounding streets, in the vicinity of the Lloyd secondary school.

Local news site Nord24 said a school pupil had heard shots being fired and called the police. Pupils barricaded themselves in their classrooms.

Police launched a large-scale operation and cordoned off the area around the school while they carried out inquiries. 

By mid-afternoon, police said special forces had completed their search and the last people had left the building.

Authorities set up a phone hotline for concerned parents. Many parents had gathered in front of the school after being alerted by their children.

Pupils and staff are receiving psychological counselling.

Local media said only around 200 people were on the school grounds, fewer than normal because of exam times.

In a separate incident on Thursday, police in the eastern city of Leipzig said they had detained a 21-year-old student still at secondary school after being tipped off by Snapchat that he had posted pictures of himself with a gun and made unspecified threats.

The US social media platform alerted German authorities, prompting Leipzig police to take action.

 A police spokesman said that the 21-year-old did not pose a real threat, however, and only possessed an airsoft gun, a replica firearm that uses non-lethal, usually plastic, pellets.

‘Strict gun laws’

School shootings are relatively rare in Germany, a country with some of the strictest gun laws in Europe. But a recent spate has rattled the population.

Last week, investigators in Germany’s city of Essen said they foiled a school bomb assault, as they arrested a 16-year-old who is suspected to have been planning a “Nazi terror attack”.

Police in Essen stormed the teen’s room overnight, taking him into custody and uncovering 16 “pipe bombs”, as well as anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim material.

In January, an 18-year-old student opened fire in a lecture hall at Heidelberg University in southwestern Germany, killing a young woman and
injuring three others before fleeing the scene and turning the weapon on himself.

In 2009, a former pupil killed nine students, three teachers and three passers-by in a school shooting at Winnenden, in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The gunman then killed himself.

In 2002, a 19-year-old former student, apparently in revenge for having been expelled, shot dead 16 people including 12 teachers and two students at a school in the central German city of Erfurt. He too then killed himself.

The Winnenden and Erfurt massacres were carried out with legal weapons and spurred Germany to tighten gun laws.

The country currently requires anyone under 25 to pass a psychiatric exam before applying for a gun licence.

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