German police have finally published a photo of a suspected rapist after waiting nearly a year despite the serious nature of the crime.
The victim had snapped a photo of the man with her phone shortly before he raped her in Darmstadt, Hesse. Although a timely release of the photo could have helped secure the man’s quick arrest, the police held back on the public release of the photograph and is now only asking the public for help 11 months later. The photos were only released after a judge authorized the move this week.
The crime, which occurred on Nov. 24, 2022, at 3:30 a.m., involved a dark-skinned man who approached the 23-year-old victim in the city center. The victim told police she immediately felt threatened and took a photo of the man with her phone. Nevertheless, the woman was dragged into the Herrngarten park and raped by the suspect, who then fled the scene.
The police acknowledge the man may now look different due to the huge time gap between the time the photo was taken and its release.
“The description of the suspect refers to the date the pictures were taken in 2022, so there may have been deviations in his external appearance in the meantime,” the police announced.
According to the police, the suspect is 30 years old, 1.65 meters tall, and has dark skin. During the crime, he wore a gray coat, light-colored sweatpants, a black baseball hat, and had a long, full beard.
German police have been accused of withholding information and reports of rape in the past, most notably during the 2016 mass rape in Cologne and other cities during New Year’s Eve, which saw over 2,000 German women raped and sexually assaulted by Middle Eastern and North African migrants. Police and politicians later admitted that the true scale of the mass sexual assault was kept under wraps for days due to fears it could provoke anti-migrant sentiment.
Just in August, information was released only after a month about a gang rape involving migrant males in Berlin’s infamous Görlitzer Park. The victim was raped by a number of men while her boyfriend was held down, causing a scandal in the German press.