Germany: Policemen jailed for using office for sexual abuse | News | DW | 13.07.2020
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Germany: Policemen jailed for using office for sexual abuse

A German court has handed jail terms to two police officers for using their office to sexually abuse a woman they were investigating. The men claimed they were seduced while checking the woman's documentation.

A court in the German city of Erfurt on Monday sentenced two police officers to prison terms of two years and three months each for abusing their office. 

The court heard that the officers in the town of Marlishausen, in the German state of Thuringia, had asked a woman for her documents as part of a traffic check in September 2016. 

However, it was revealed that they doubted the authenticity of the documentation that the 32-year-old Polish-born woman had provided. 

Read more: Berlin police officer arrested on suspicion of working with drug gangs

They had accompanied her home to check other documents, local broadcaster Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk reported. The officers then claimed the woman suddenly appeared naked before them. 

Rape charge dropped

The younger of the two men, aged 23, said he had been completely overwhelmed by the situation. He admitted that he had made a serious mistake in having sex with the woman.

The court heard that the officer's 28-year-old colleague filmed the two on his cell phone. He showed it to a colleague in a patrol car but later deleted it. A specialist company was even brought in to try to restore the recording.

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While the court said there was a possibility the victim had initiated intercourse, it also found that this might have been because she feared the consequences if she did not. 

The woman, who was the main witness, was not present for the trial. 

Prosecutors dropped a charge of aggravated rape by the two men. They had called for the officers to receive a two-year suspended sentence. 

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However, the court found that the crime had been deeply shocking and damaging to the image of the police, and that a prison term should be imposed. It left open the possibility of an appeal.