German court jails two men for holding sex slaves

A German court on Wednesday handed heavy jail sentences to two men for abducting, raping and keeping three women as sex slaves in a house in Garlstedt near Bremen in 2006.

German court jails two men for holding sex slaves
The dog cage where the women were held. Photo: DPA

The young women, who contacted the men thinking they were offering jobs or a room for rent, were tortured and humiliated for several months. The court convicted the men of kidnapping, human trafficking, rape and sexual harassment.

The 42-year-old Stefan K. will spend the next 14 years behind bars and his accomplice, 55-year-old Bernd K., was sentenced to 12.5 years in jail. They also were both ordered to pay €150,000 in compensation to each victim.

Presiding Judge Volker Stronczyk said the defendants had serious personality disorders that would allow them to subject the women to such “intense psychological duress.” He based his ruling on the assumption that Stefan K. was likely to remain “dangerous up to an advanced age” and that an expert had determined he was a perverse sexual sadist.

The 14-month trial was closed to the public, but harrowing details of the women’s ordeal have now been made known. The two men originally planned to open a brothel in early 2006. But after no one answered an advertisement, they decided to abduct women and force them into prostitution.

The first woman, a 23-year-old psychology student, was imprisoned on August 14, 2006 after she came in response to an ad for a promotion job. The men threatened to kill her if she didn’t do their bidding, but for reasons the court did not explain they did not prostitute her during her three months in captivity.

The second victim fell into their clutches in September 2006. Like the first woman, she was occasionally forced to stay in a dog cage. However, the men also raped her and offered her to other paying customers.

The third woman was imprisoned in October 2006 after she came looking for a room to rent. Fortunately she was able to flee – naked and handcuffed – the same day through a window in the house’s attic, bringing the horrible ordeal of the other women to end after police were alerted.

“One can only ask with fright how it might have continued otherwise,” the judge said.



German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.