Crime: 37 years after the fact: Ex-US soldier admits rape

Almost four decades after the crime, a 65-year-old man confessed to the Ulm district court that he had raped and brutally beaten a young woman.

Crime: 37 years after the fact: Ex-US soldier admits rape

Almost four decades after the crime, a 65-year-old man confessed to the Ulm district court that he had raped and brutally beaten a young woman. The former US soldier described in detail in court on Tuesday how he chose the then 29-year-old as a victim on October 23, 1985 and then raped her in a park in Göppingen. The defendant also admitted that he then hit the woman with a branch.

The training officer stationed in Göppingen at the time said he was standing on his balcony and saw the woman walking past. There he developed the idea of ​​following the woman and raping her. But the why remains unclear even after all these years. In response to repeated questions from the presiding judge and the prosecutor, the defendant said he had no answer. His situation at the time was characterized by alcohol, drugs, arguments with his wife and problems at work.

The then 28-year-old followed the young woman to a park on the night of October 1985 with a knife. There he threatened her and ordered her to follow him. When the woman resisted, he hit her in the face with his fist and raped her. He also choked her. The indictment also accuses him of repeatedly raping the woman. But the 65-year-old denied this in court as well as the allegation of attempted murder: he said he did not want to kill the woman.

Just narrowly escaped death

The soldier initially left the 29-year-old lying after his crime. He came back with a branch and hit her several times. Almost unconscious and out of fear, the woman pretended to be dead, according to the indictment. The man took the woman to a nearby ditch in his car and threw her down there. Before driving away, he covered them with branches and leaves. In court, the accused said he saw that the woman was still alive. The almost entirely undressed and bloodied woman managed to drag herself to a nearby property. She suffered numerous injuries, including broken ribs and a ruptured eardrum.

Addressed to the woman's lawyer, who appears as a joint plaintiff in the proceedings, the accused apologized for the act. A letter of apology to the injured party was not sent, explained the man's defense attorney, because after so many years this was no longer considered appropriate.

The man returned to the United States as a soldier in 1986. There, according to American court records, he was guilty of rape and kidnapping. He spent 17 years in prisons. The fact in Germany remained unsolved for decades. With a DNA sample, the investigators finally succeeded in convicting the alleged perpetrator. The accused has been in custody since his extradition from the United States.

Since the offenses of rape and dangerous bodily harm are now statute-barred, the prosecution's main concern in the proceedings will be to prove the allegation of attempted murder. Three more days of negotiations are planned until mid-November. The victim should also have a say, with the public being excluded.

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