A swimming instructor convicted of child abuse in more than 130 cases remained silent at the start of a process for his preventive detention. His client did not provide any information, said the 38-year-old's lawyer on Thursday before the Baden-Baden district court. According to a decision by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), a juvenile chamber there must examine whether the convict will be released after serving his sentence or whether he must remain under lock and key. According to previous plans, a decision could be made next week on Friday (March 10).
In November 2018, another chamber of the court sentenced the man to twelve years in prison for sexual abuse, some of which was serious, and ordered subsequent preventive detention. In contrast to imprisonment, courts do not impose these as punishment, but as a preventive measure. It is intended to protect the population from perpetrators who are considered dangerous even after serving time in prison.
More than 30 girls
The swimming instructor's victims were more than 30 girls between the ages of four and twelve. According to the first verdict, the man had coerced the children, severely injured them in the intimate area and even threatened two victims with death if they did not remain silent. The crimes happened during his swimming lessons either in the water or in the locker rooms. The man also filmed some. At the start of the new trial, three members of the court read the old verdict for more than an hour, going through case by case.
In the first trial, the accused tried to trivialize the crimes and in some cases denied them - despite the recordings that also showed him. The district court took this as a sign of his dangerousness and justified the preventive detention.
The man appealed the verdict. The BGH confirmed the sentence, but canceled the preventive detention in 2019 due to legal errors. He saw the man's statements as permissible defensive behavior. Therefore, renegotiation is now taking place.
Among other things, the court must try to clarify the extent to which the man is at risk of recidivism. An expert had at the time attested to the man's pedophilic tendencies and little insight and willingness to change. Experts and witnesses are also now invited to help with the assessment.