Rulings spoken

Rulings spoken

Flowers commemorate New Year's Eve attacks © Maja Hitij

After the riots on New Year's Eve in Cologne, the first perpetrators of sexual assaults have been given suspended sentences.

The Cologne district court on Thursday convicted a 21-year-old Iraqi man of sexual assault and a 26-year-old Algerian man of aiding and abetting sexual assault, according to a court spokesman. They received a juvenile prison sentence and a suspended prison sentence of one year each, respectively.

Both defendants had initially taken photos with the eventual victims, two young women, according to the court. The women were then separated by a group of men and each surrounded, he said. In it, the younger defendant allegedly kissed a young woman against her will and licked across her face. The older defendant was reportedly part of a group of men from which the other woman was grabbed on the buttocks and crotch.

On New Year's Eve, groups of young men, mainly from North African and Arab regions, sexually harassed and stole from numerous women at Cologne's main train station. By mid-June, the Cologne public prosecutor's office had received 1.182 reports received, 497 of them for sexual assault.

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