A court in western Germany has sentenced a man to 11 and a half years in jail for raping a student who was camping in a wilderness area with her boyfriend. The judge said the young couple had “feared for their lives.”
Handing down his ruling in the Bonn District Court on Thursday, the judge said the victims continued to be haunted by their terrifying ordeal.
"Their whole life plan, their overall development, has been demolished," presiding judge Marc Eumann told the court, according to the General-Anzeiger newspaper.
"The two victims feared for their lives."
The judge sentenced the defendant, who can only be named under German reporting laws as Eric X., to 11 years and six months in prison, just short of the 13 years requested by the prosecution.
Prosecutors argued the rejected asylum seeker from Ghana attacked the 23-year-old woman and her 26-year-old boyfriend as they camped in the Siegaue nature area on the outskirts of Bonn on April 2.
Trauma after the attack
The court heard how the 31-year-old entered the couple's tent and threatened them with a branch-saw before forcing the woman outside and raping her. He then fled the scene and was arrested several days later following a manhunt.
"They were attacked in a sheltered space and threatened with a weapon, they felt like cramped animals in a cage and feared for their lives," prosecutor Gudrun Roth said.
The judge said the young victim, from the southern state of Baden-Württemberg, continued to experience anxiety, suicidal thoughts and muscle pain from the medication she was taking as a result of the traumatic incident.
The laywer representing Eric X., who maintained his innocence throughout the trial, said he planned to appeal the sentence.