FOUR of the five boys aged between 12 and 14 convicted of gang-raping a mentally disabled 18-year-old in a playground have escaped jail because of their ages.
The attack by the five boys took place in Muelheim, a city in western Germany on July 5 last year.
The court heard that one of the boys, aged 14, had been a boyfriend of the victim and had persuaded her to come to the park that night.
After having consensual sex with her, other members of the gang appeared and dragged her into nearby bushes where she was then raped.
The gang of boys filmed the entire ordeal which one police officer described the attack as "violence, massive violence."
The court heard that the woman was “abused in various ways”, although the police did not share details.
A 61-year-old man who had been walking his dog came upon the victim and her attackers.
The boys dispersed as the 61-year-old called the police and the victim was immediately taken to hospital.
After the victim gave a detailed description of the perpetrators, the police were able to arrest all five boys as they were still nearby.
As children under the age of 14 cannot be prosecuted in Germany, the two 12-year-olds were handed over to their parents.
The three 14-year-old boys spent a night in a police cell before their parents picked them up, according to reports, and they have now been convicted.
In its ruling, the court said: "Except for one of the two twelve-year-olds, all the boys penetrated the teenager. She was also beaten in the process."
They said that by this point, the teenager had not consented what was going on even though she had expected that she might have sex with her ex-boyfriend.
The Duisburg district court imposed two years and six months imprisonment on the main accused, identified only as Georgi S., who is now aged 15.
His two friends of a similar age were given probation for 18 months.
Justifying the sentences a Duisburg district court spokesman said: "In defence of the accused, the judges felt that they were very young when the crime took place and because of their age were only on the threshold of criminal responsibility."
Police spokesman Peter Elke said: “After we determined that two of the group members are 12-years-old and therefore are not criminally responsible, we handed them over to the parents.
“The three 14-year-olds were arrested and detained overnight. They were released on Saturday after interrogation."
According to local media, the five teenagers originally hail from the southern Bulgarian town and are partly related to each other.
The incident is similar to a case a year ago in Velbert, a town near Mulheim where a gang of eight Bulgarian teens raped a 13-year-old girl.
The perpetrators were eventually jailed, receiving sentences of nine months to four years in prison.
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