In a case the has shocked the nation, five Bulgarian boys (aged 12 to 14) are suspected of raping a young woman in the German city of Mülheim an der Ruhr last Friday. Under German law, they cannot be prosecuted due to their young age.
Youth care workers visited the parents of the two alleged 12-year-old perpetrators, but they refuse all help.
The events took place on Friday evening in the center of Mülheim. The young teenagers – three boys of 14 and two of 12 years – used abusive violence to rape an 18-year-old girl. Based on the description given by the victim, the police were able to quickly locate the five suspects.
The three fourteen-year-olds spent one night in jail, but were released again pending the investigation. Because children under the age of 14 cannot be prosecuted in Germany, the two youngest suspects were handed over to their parents. German ‘Youth carers’ visited the parents of the 12-year-old on Monday and offered her help. But that led to nothing. It didn’t come further than a short conversation at the front door.
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Child welfare is apparently not needed in both families, the police concluded when they handed over the 12-year-olds to the parents after the facts.
Only if the parents are unable to cope with the situation could there be an immediate custody and placement of the children in a foster home, according to German media.
The authorities then advised the parents not to send their school-age children to school until the start of the long school vacation.
A reporter from Bild confronted a mother at the front door with the serious accusations hanging over her twelve-year-old son.
Because the woman barely spoke German, an interpreter was needed. Although the government had suggested keeping the suspects at home, Krasimir I’s mother (12) claimed: “My son is in school.”
Asked about the group rape, she protected her child: “As far as I know, he had nothing to do with it. He was there, but he knows nothing. How is that possible? He arrived later,” the woman claimed.
One 14-year-old was arrested on Monday because he could be a danger to society. He would have been involved twice before in a case of sexual abuse. In the light of this case, the head of the German police union GdP called for the age of criminal responsibility to be reduced to 12 years, but the German association of judges said they were against this.
Meanwhile some German media is reporting there is already a new case of sexual assault in the city by a similar group of youngsters against another young girl, but this could not be verified.