Asylum seekers from Afghanistan have been charged with the attempted rape of two schoolgirls in a public swimming pool in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The court ruled in favor of holding the suspects in custody without bail over the risk of repeated offence.
The adult man and 14-year old boy reportedly molested two girls, aged 14 and 18, at the Arriba aquatics center in the city of Norderstedt on Saturday. After being groped by the men, the girls approached the center's security staff, who detained the perpetrators and called the police.
The court ordered the arrest of the both men who will remain in custody without bail as there is a substantial risk they could flee the country to avoid proceedings or commit further crimes of a sexual nature. The men are to be held in two separate prison facilities in Schleswig and Neumünster, said the police report.
It is not the first time the leisure center has made headlines for the wrong reasons. Almost two years ago, a group of migrants sexually abused five teenage girls by the poolside. The young men reportedly caressed them without any prior consent them and ripped the bikini top off one of the girls.
In January, a leisure center in the city of Bornheim in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia became the first of its kind in Germany to ban all male refugees from the facility. The move was prompted by regular complaints of sexual harassment from female visitors. The local officials said the ban was a temporary measure and men would be granted access to the pool services once they get the message. The enforcement of the measure was also triggered by a sexual attack by 18-year old migrant on 54-year-old woman that took place in broad-day-light in another Bornheim public pool.
Last month, the story of a 10-year-old boy raped by an Iraqi refugee in a Viennese pool sparked outrage in the Austrian society. The suspected abuser, who now awaits trial, arrived from Iraq in Austria in September and cited "sexual emergency" as the motive of the crime.
The cases of sexual abuse of local citizens by newly arrived refugees and migrants have been common across Europe. The offenses of sexual nature committed by migrants were reported in Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria among other countries.
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