German Defence Ministry wants tougher sanctions for army paedophiles




Berlin - The German Defence Ministry said on Friday that it wants tougher sanctions for German soldiers convicted of child sex offences, in light of the suspected involvement of a soldier in a recent case of child abuse in the south-western city of Freiburg.



 
A spokesman for the ministry said that it wants the power to immediately discharge from the army soldiers convicted of child abuse or possession of child pornography.
Currently, soldiers convicted of such offences can remain in the army if their sentence is less than a year in length. The army would from now on push for such soldiers to be discharged immediately, the spokesman said.
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen told Bild newspaper: "Anyone found guilty of child abuse or possession of child pornography has no place in the army."
A 49-year-old German army soldier has been charged in the case, involving a 9-year-old boy who was sexually abused for years in Freiburg.
The soldier, a master sergeant, has been accused of rape and forced prostitution. He was prosecuted in 2008 for possession of child pornography, the ministry spokesman said.
Following that conviction the soldier was twice demoted in rank, "but the punishment wasn't high enough for him to be discharged from the army then," the spokesman said.
Eight people in total are in custody in connection with the case, among them the boy's 47-year-old mother and her boyfriend. Investigators said that the boy's mother had, over two years, offered her child for sale over the internet to be raped by others.

 


Friday, March 2nd 2018
(dpa)
           


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