Acquitted of the charge

Acquitted of the charge

Insignia of secular jurisdiction: Justitia and piles of files. © Volker Hartmann

The public prosecutor's office in Tubingen has dropped proceedings against 22 clergymen on charges of sexual abuse in the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese. Lawyers had filed criminal charges against unknown persons in all dioceses.

The Tubingen public prosecutor's office has closed abuse investigations against 22 clergy members of the Catholic Church in the area of the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese. In the 22 cases there had been no criminally relevant conduct or the cases were time-barred, the diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart announced the decision of the public prosecutor's office on Tuesday. No case had involved the accusation of "serious sexual abuse".

Diocese signaled "full willingness to cooperate"

The diocese had "immediately upon request handed over the relevant files" and "signaled full willingness to cooperate," the prosecutor's office said Tuesday. Afterwards it concerned files, which had been predominantly the subject of the processing by the diocesan commission sexual abuse. According to the diocese, this involved the files of all living accused persons.

According to the prosecutor's office, none of the cases involved serious sexual abuse of children; ten cases involved sexual abuse of children, eight of which were time-barred. In one case there was no criminally relevant conduct, in one case there was an acquittal in court. In the eight cases of accusations of sexual abuse of juveniles, seven were time-barred and in one case there was no criminally relevant conduct.

Abuse study of the German Bishops' Conference

In connection with the so-called MHG study, criminal charges were filed in October 2018 with prosecutors nationwide against unknown persons on suspicion of sexual abuse and aggravated sexual abuse of children between 1946 and 2014.

In September, the German Bishops' Conference had published the MHG study for the period between 1946 and 2014. According to this, in these years nationwide 1.670 clerics perpetrated on minors. Alleged victims were 3.677 children and adolescents, predominantly boys.

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