Germany: Rape cases in Berlin see alarming increase, nearly half of suspects are migrants

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Between March and the beginning of July 2020 alone, the Berlin police recorded 210 cases of “collective or particularly humiliating rape”. In almost half of the cases, the criminal investigation agency says foreign suspects are responsible, Focus online reports.

One perpetrator, 29-year-old Sinisa K. is said to have attacked women at eight different crime scenes in southwest Berlin and in the Potsdam area since June. The hunt for him lasted a month.

He is said to have taken his victims by surprise in broad daylight with the same scam. Initially friendly, investigators later reported, the suspect gained their confidence, then he grabbed the women, dragged them into a bush and sexually assaulted them. During the eighth time, the alleged serial rapist was apprehended police in a forest in mid-July. The month-long manhunt for Sinisa K. made headlines nationwide.

Berlin: 210 cases of “collective or particularly degrading rape”

In contrast, many comparable serious cases of sexual assault in the federal capital only appear as case notes in the lists of prosecutors. Between March and the beginning of July 2020 alone, the Berlin police registered 210 cases of “collective or particularly degrading rape”. That means Berlin saw an average of almost two women as victims of severe sexual violence every single day.

Those affected included 50 minors up to the age of 16, including 16 children.

In almost half of the cases, the suspects are migrants, a report by the Berlin Senate Administration to independent FDP MP Marcel Luthe showed. The percentage is far higher than the proportion of the population of foreigners in the German capital, which Statista put at 19.2 percent for the past year.

“The far disproportionate ratio of foreign suspects shows that the causes urgently need to be clarified and discussed transparently. And then effective crime prevention must be pursued,” Luthe told Focus online. “Anyone who finds their personal, ideological agenda more important than combating these acts, sets the wrong political priority.”

Senate report: 144 cases of serious sexual abuse

A Berlin Senate report of sexual offenses between March and the beginning of July over the course of the last four years shows almost 800 cases combined over the periods, which also included 13 gang rapes. The Senate report also pointed out the 144 cases of serious sexual abuse of “persons incapable of resistance”.

At the end of March the trial of an Iraqi male, a Portuguese male and a German male began before the Berlin district court. The three men are said to have mixed a narcotic drug in the drink of an 18-year-old girl in an apartment in Berlin-Schöneberg six months earlier. They then took turns attacking the defenseless victim. When the defendants finished, they spat at their victim, calling her a “slut”.

In another Berlin case, three Iraqis and a Syrian youth were sentenced to long prison terms in August 2019. They lured a 16-year-old Syrian migrant into a trap. Threatened with knives, the student had to endure four hours of sexual abuse. As it turned out, the main planner of the attack was a defendant of the same age as their victim. It was an act of revenge after the girl broke up with him and the abuse was supposed to turn her into a “slut”.

Every fifth suspect was not yet 21 years old

Almost 1,000 people were raped in the four-month period from 2017 to 2020. Women and girls are almost always the targets of such attacks. Sex crimes have been increasing in the federal capital for years, with the capital seeing a 15 percent year-on-year increase in 2019, which amounted to 4,809 cases.

“A total of 2,857 suspects were identified for sexual offenses,” said the Berlin police when the previous year’s statistics were announced in March.

Accordingly, 36.6 percent of the alleged perpetrators did not have a German passport.

This quota includes all sexual crimes, from coercion to serious abuse with weapons or other implements. Every fifth suspect was under 21.

The rate of successful investigations is 65 percent, well above the Berlin average, where police only found a perpetrator in every second case of the 513,000 registered crimes.

Berlin’s Senator for the Interior, Andreas Geisel, said he was “concerned about the increase in crimes against sexual self-determination”, but otherwise, the SPD politician found that the Berlin police were doing a good job.

Foreigners overrepresented in crime statistics

In 2017, Berliner Morgenpost reported that nearly half of all crime suspects in Berlin were foreigners, a number highly disproportionate to their share of the population. As of 2019, half of all prisoners in Berlin are now foreigners.

Overall in Germany, a report last year from the German Criminal Federal Police (BKA) found that 36 percent of sexual crimes were committed by foreigners without a German passport.

Other countries in Europe feature comparable statistics. For example, 42 percent of all rape suspects in Italy are foreigners.

In 2018, the SVT news service indicated that 58 percent of men with rape or attempted rape convictions in Sweden over the preceding five years were immigrants born outside the European Union, with most of them coming from North Africa, South Africa, Afghanistan, and the Middle East.

The BBC also reported that in cases in Sweden where victims did not know their attackers, the proportion of foreign-born men convicted of sexual assault was 80 percent.


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