In the German city of Stuttgart, police arrested a 23-year-old Syrian migrant who is accused of groping several women at an outdoor swimming pool over Pentecost weekend.
In total, seven women, ranging from ages 12 to 18, were sexually assaulted at the swimming pool in three different incidents. Three men in total were taken into custody, including a 23-year-old Syrian migrant.
In the first incident, around 4:45 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, two 18-year-old women were in the family pool at an outdoor pool when two young men swam past them. German new outlet SWR reported that a 13-year-old and a still unknown suspect grabbed the women’s buttocks under the water.
The police immediately arrested a 13-year-old male and then handed him over to his mother without charges.
Later that same day, two men aged 22 and 23 reportedly approached a 12-year-old girl and began touching her private parts. The two men were arrested. The public prosecutor’s office identified one of the men as a 23-year-old Syrian migrant, who has been charged in the case, according to Bild newspaper.
Four girls attacked
The next day, on Monday, four men aged 20 to 30 groped a total of four girls aged 13, 14, and 15. Police arrested a 29-year-old suspect, who the judge has already released.
It is unclear if the other suspects had a migration background. Germany does not release the ethnicity or the migration background of suspects with German citizenship.
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According to the SWR, this location is experiencing an uptick in sexual violence, “In the last two years, cases of sexual harassment at the (pool) in Untertürkheim had increased from the start of the season in May. A clerk was then entrusted with the cases at the Stuttgart police station. In addition, it was checked whether special police measures can be taken in consultation with the bathing establishments,” they wrote.
Wave of pool assaults
As Remix News has reported in the past, migrants committing sexual violence and assaults inside pool establishments have plagued the country in recent years.
In 2016, a town near Cologne banned all migrant men from going to a public pool due to repeated cases of sexual harassment and one criminal case. The ban was instituted to persuade asylum seekers to “change their behavior,” according to town authorities. A leaked police report in 2016 also showed that there was a concerning rise in migrant sexual assaults at swimming pools in the German city of Düsseldorf.
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Last year, three 12-year-old girls were sexually assaulted in the Kaufbeuren public swimming pool in Bavaria by a group of six older teenagers described as having dark skin and speaking broken German. Police are still looking for the suspects.
The internal report stated, “(We) can confirm a surge in sex crimes at these establishments. In particular rape and the sexual abuse of children in bathing establishments have given us grave cause for concern. The perpetrators are, for the most part, immigrants.”
In 2017, two asylum seekers, including a Syrian former ISIS member, were arrested for sexually assaulting two girls, aged 12 and 14.
Last year, in Berlin, there were numerous mass brawls involving migrant men, including one that was caught on film and ended up going viral.
The fights at Berlin’s Columbiabad comes as no surprise. According to Der Spiegel, “the Berlin summer pool in Neukölln was long considered the most notorious outdoor pool in the capital. Scuffles, stabbings, and threats were part of the daily routine at times.” While the situation has improved, criminal incidents are still routine.
Last year’s violence in German outdoor swimming pools has also alarmed the Federal Association of German Swimming Champions (BDS) to such an extent that its president, Peter Harzheim, said he could no longer recommend that families visit such facilities on weekends.
While speaking to Bild TV, Harzheim claimed he would be “acting irresponsibly” if he attended an outdoor pool with his own three grandchildren
In response, the Berlin baths operators promised increased deployment of security personnel, the daily Morgenpost reported.