Legal punishment unlikely for Ameland teen sex abuse suspects

Legal punishment unlikely for Ameland teen sex abuse suspects
Photo: DPA
Eight teenage boys who have admitted to sexually abusing other younger boys at a summer camp on the island of Ameland last month are unlikely to be arraigned, the Osnabrück state prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.

German youth criminal law could mean that the case ends in the boys taking anti-aggression training courses instead, head prosecutor Alexander Retemeyer told daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

The incidents in early July at the Dutch holiday island have emerged through questioning the teenage suspects, who revealed they found their inspiration online to brutally mishandle younger children.

The suspects, youths between the ages of 14 and 15, have shown remorse for their actions during talks with police, a spokesperson said last month.

The attackers allegedly used objects including cola bottles and broomstick handles to sexually assault six boys, all aged about 13. The incidents occurred at the youth dormitory of a holiday camp sponsored by the city of Osnabrück’s municipal sports association.

According to state prosecutors, terrible scenes of violence occurred there when the older boys pulled the youngest and weakest members of the 39-member group from their bunks and assaulted them in the centre of the room.

Investigators hope to question the last of the group’s members in the next two weeks, the paper said. So far authorities have eight confessions and have statements from eight victims.

Osnabrück prosecutors are now working on “gaining a big picture out of which we can see who, did what, when and where,” Retemeyer said.

As soon as investigations are complete, the youth welfare office will step in to make its recommendations for “disciplinary measures,” he said.

The incidents have led to a debate about the need to improve supervision at summer camps. The Lower Saxony state sporting federation has already announced it will examine further measures for training of supervisors.

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