The young woman, around which everything turns, is not appeared in the court room. Your statement makes you, according to judge Stefan Bürgelin “in another place”.

Sabrina Wilke*, 19, Apprentice to the old nurse, was traumatized, said the psychiatric experts. Since of the fact you suffer from anxiety and nightmares, stay out of groups. A hearing in front of many of those involved in the process could make your condition worse. More than six hours on the witness describes, therefore, the exclusion of the Public via a video transmission, such as the night of the 14. October 2018 has experienced after they had left with the main accused, Majd H. a techno-club in Freiburg.

The deed had been aroused, therefore, a sensation, because ten of the eleven defendants, applicants for asylum are, eight of them from Syria, almost all police known.

78 Leitz folder at the Freiburg court of assizes

According to the indictment, is said to have sold one of them to the young woman and her friend in the techno club two Ecstasy tablets. In a buying Drink Majd H. the then-18-Year-olds have, presumably, in addition, knock-out drops administered. After that, they went to a nearby grove of trees where he had you want to a Tattoo on his thigh show. There he had raped Wilke, and then lying woman Known to the defenseless on the ground, led to have also passed on your.

Nine of them are silent. Two deny the fact. The Sex was called for, “consensus”, not solid””.

The case shows how difficult in the case of sexual offences the evidence of a crime. If drugs are in the game, and the victim of memory gaps has. And it shows, what it can mean for the victim, if the defenders want to prevent by all means a conviction of their clients.


The crime scene in Freiburg, Germany

©Patrick Seeger/DPA

The Freiburg court must by 78 Leitz folders to work through, each 500 pages thick, it has to evaluate traces at the victim, Whatsapp Chats of the accused and call logs, five experts to listen to, and approximately 50 witnesses It relies on local traces, and the statements of Sabrina Wilke. But their memories describes a Prosecutor Rainer Schmid as fragments, such as “dream sequences”.

It is the Central question of the process: In what condition was it in? She was recognizable defenseless? And the condition of the accused, which will also have alcohol and drug use were?

you, as it is described Wilke of the police, increasingly the control over your body, have not move, can not have lost to shout. The men had held her head and vaginal and oral rape. You have given to “whine” and “negative Loud” by itself. Photos of the young wife, the coroner on the next day of shooting, show injuries, the fit of your representation: multiple haematoma and a bruise on the upper arm, according to a coroner a typical “grab handle”. Her fingernails were broken. Therefore, you have scratched your assailant. In the case of some defendants, scratch wounds and other traces have been documented of resistance. According to the interpretation of a defender on the edge of the process but may also “traces of disinhibition”.

you have no evidence,

The indictment that we would have recognized the men that the woman was on drugs, and their vulnerability exploited. Timo P., the only German among the defendants and the only one who has extensively testified to is that the woman was intoxicated for him, clearly. She was “on it”, he said, their “pupils were extremely dilated,” like “an owl”. She is defenseless and helpless, to this conclusion he had drawn. “It is represented by the media in a way that she was unconscious, and all are slipped over. But this was not so,” he says. He had “used no violence”. Not he that she had wanted Sex.

But also sexual abuse of resistance-unable persons can be a rape, “without committing violence,” explains judge Stefan Bürgelin. The difficulty: “If the alleged offender is not required to prove that he has recognized the resistance inability of the victim, can he be not punished,” says Elisa Hoven, a Professor of criminal law at the University of Leipzig. “It is the intent of the deed is missing. And that is also correct: If the offender understands that the victim is on drugs, but believes that it really wants to sexual acts.” And that is exactly what a defendant is called will.

So you have no evidence. In a Toxicological report, it will have to go about, such as Ecstasy and alcohol on the young woman worked, what evidence will be discovered for K. o.-drops. There is only an objective document of the Neck, which gives information about your condition: a sound recording on the Smartphone of Muhanad M. He pulled the young woman to two and a half hours out of the bushes and helped her get dressed, spoke to her. But he, too, is now before the court, because there is evidence that he, too, should have to your passed.

“You’re really an angel,” she heard. “You helped me for real.” It sounds distorted, like out of it, the voice. She felt “dishonored,” she says then. And barely understood the question: “What one has earned such a thing?”

Common “confrontational” strategy

a lot depends on the credibility of the main witness. State Prosecutor Thorsten madder she described in court as “reflected”. Their descriptions were consistent with the indictment and the documents. You’ve chosen your words “be careful”, “without any burden of zeal”.

The defenders to doubt their credibility. Attorney Hanna Palm, which represents Timo P., faced an important witness, the girlfriend of Wilke, with questions exceeding for some in the courtroom, Whether the young woman had in front of the club visit for a longer time not having Sex? If you stand more on the “lighter” or “darker” types? What type corresponded to her Ex-boyfriend? On another Day a colleague asks the responsible officials, whether Wilke had worn the night of the murder, possibly suspenders.

Eleven men accused

process group rape: questions to disco visitors


Such questions about the intimate life of the lawyer Christiane revolt Steiert, Sabrina Wilke represents. They would add nothing to the thing. Your client will be denigrated by the statements of the defender “, stigmatized and in their personal rights violated”. To do so a second Time to “victims”. to pull

“the Alleged victims in the dirt prohibits, in principle, and hurt in this heated mood nur”, says the defender of Majd H., Jörg pinion. So closely the array of the eleven defenders at first sight, a common “confrontational” strategy does not seem to exist. To ask hard, says sprocket, not hot, to exceed any limit. A lack of understanding and hatred of the defenders of the process anyway since the first Day of the trial. The pinion itself was in danger of a fire bomb attack, after he had quoted his client, who claimed the Sex was “consensual”. Also his family were announced in acts of violence. Several public defenders since the start of the process almost daily e-mails.

Relentless questions of the intimate life

the defenders had a duty to identify inconsistencies and gaps in the prosecution case and evidence, and to ensure that the rules of criminal procedure were complied with, explains the Freiburg lawyers ‘ chamber. “The defence says that the accused criminal Offence is defended.” The one-sided reporting after the fact, the more must draw the attention of the defense too “on contradictions in the testimony” of the alleged victim. This also includes conservation are sometimes lots of questions after the intimate life is necessary.

it is Crucial, in the end, what is in the court room to educate. Even if the act should have been committed by the young men together, it must be each individual detected. The defenders point out that the proof was the location for some of their clients “thin”. The prosecution, however, is convinced that without the confessions the evidence for a conviction range. Meanwhile, investigators search for more suspects. You expect to see at least one other man is still wanted.

* Name changed by the editors

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