German court convicts men over 2018 gang rape of 18-year-old


BERLIN (AP) – A group of men was convicted of rape Thursday at the end of a year-long trial over a gang assault on an 18-year-old woman in 2018. The case, in which most of the 11 defendants were Syrian, added to tensions in Germany over migration.

Prosecutors say the woman was offered an Ecstasy tablet in a disco in the southwestern city of Freiburg and her drink was spiked with an unknown substance, leaving her unable to fend off the assailants. She reported that several men later raped her outside the disco.

The Freiburg state court convicted most of the defendants, who were aged 18 to 30 at the time of the time of the assault in October in 2018, of rape, news agency dpa reported. They were given sentences ranging up to 5 1/2 years in prison.

Others were convicted of failing to provide help. The court rejected assertions by the alleged ringleader and others that the sex was consensual.

The trial opened in late June last year.

Two defendants are holding folders in front of their faces as a screen, while a defense attorney is talking to the right defendant and judicial officers are standing behind the defendants at a trial in Freiburg, Germany, Thursday, July 23, 2020. Most of the eleven defendants have been sentenced to prison for the gang rape of an 18-year-old girl in Freiburg in mid-October 2018. In order to comply with the Corona rules, the trial did not take place in a court, but in a concert hall. (Philipp von Ditfurth/dpa via AP)