A rejected asylum seeker accused of raping a girl in front of her boyfriend at a nature reserve in April has been sentenced to more than 11 years in jail.
A 31-year-old man from Ghana was found guilty of rape by a court in Bonn on Thursday (19 October) and was sentenced to eleven and a half years in custody.
The court ruled that the culprit, who can only be named under German reporting laws as Eric X, was guilty of the crime committed at the beginning of April. He was found to have used a saw to cut open the tent in which a young couple were sleeping in a nature reserve outside the former German capital.
“The two victims feared for their lives”
According to the prosecution, after the couple handed over their cash, which amounted to just 6 euros, and a music speaker, Eric X allegedly looked at the 23-year-old woman and shouted “Come, you b**ch. I want to f**k you.” He then forced the student to follow him outside the tent, where he raped her.
Eric X then ran away, but was spotted a few days later while walking around the River Rhine in the city of Bonn, while allegedly holding the stolen music speaker from the couple’s tent.
“Their whole life plan, their overall development, has been demolished,” presiding judge Marc Eumann told the court, according to the General-Anzeiger, a newspaper. “The two victims feared for their lives.”
Prosecutors argued that Eric X attacked the woman and her 26-year-old boyfriend as they camped in the Siegaue nature area on the outskirts of Bonn on 2 April. The prosecution had called for a sentence of 13 years, while the defence did not call for a specific ruling.
“So I look like a rapist”
Although the 31-year-old African disputed his guilt, investigators claimed they found his DNA at the crime scene and on the victim.
During a court hearing on 25 September, Eric X was told by the prosecutor that he could speak, but his lawyer asked him to keep quiet. He then broke his lawyer’s order of silence, shouting “Why should I remain silent about a case I don’t know anything about?”
The outbursts continued after the court heard that CCTV footage showed Eric X leaving an asylum shelter at 7:58pm on the day of the crime, not returning until 3:06am the next morning.
“This is not the truth. This is a trick of the court. A trick question,” he said, maintaining that he was inside the shelter the entire time.
“I’m not interested in this kind of joke. I have no time to hear these fairy tales. They play games, so I look like a rapist,” he added, according to Die Welt.
He then lashed out once again, after he was told that the DNA found on the victim matched his own.
“If the court says that this is my DNA, then I must call the girl a prostitute. Anyone who supports this girl who claims she was raped is the dirtiest man on earth,” he was quoted as saying.
A psychiatric analysis found no mental illness, meaning Eric X could be held fully accountable for the rape.
Eric X’s lawyer said he planned to appeal the sentence.
The police who interviewed the victim said that she acted in the correct way. She did not resist the attack and told her boyfriend to call the police rather than using the Swiss army knife he had with him.
Eric X is reported to have arrived in Europe after crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, and came to Germany after first staying in Rome, Italy, and Salzburg, Austria. He applied for asylum in Germany claiming he killed his brother-in-law in Ghana over a dispute about inheritance, according to Bild. His asylum request was rejected by Germany just days before the crime occurred, reported the weekly magazine Focus.