German prosecutors charge three 14-year-olds in gang rape case


Prosecutors in the city of Duisburg have brought charges against three youths for the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman in July. Two other boys, aged 12, were too young to be charged.

Prosecutors in the western German city of Duisburg announced Thursday that they had brought charges of rape against three 14-year-old boys. The three stand accused of raping an 18-year-old woman in a park in Mülheim an der Ruhr in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in July. The woman was treated for injuries at a local hospital after the crime.

Prosecutors said that two other boys who participated in the crime were too young to face charges as they were both 12 years old at the time the rape took place.

One of the 14-year-olds who is currently in pre-trial detention also faces a second charge of rape. He is accused of having raped the same 18-year-old girl prior to the July crime. Police say the three youths charged are Bulgarian nationals living in Germany.

The Duisburg District Court will now decide whether to allow the case to go forward.

When news of the crime broke in July, it made headlines across the country and sparked a fierce debate over lowering the age of criminal liability in Germany. Currently, a person must be 14 years of age before he or she can be held responsible for a crime.

js/dr (AFP, dpa)



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