Two men who were part of the ‘mass frenzy’ of sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve grinned and cheered outside court after only being handed suspended sentences.
The Iraqi man and an Algerian were found guilty for their behaviour on New Year’s Eve in the city. They were the first of dozens of men to answer for sex crimes although several men have been found guilty of robbery on the night.
Their victims openly wept in court as they described the torment they had gone through during and after the assaults.
The judge said the duo acted like ‘animals’ towards their victims.
On the same day they were sentenced, Thursday, the German parliament voted to significantly tighten up the national laws concerning rape in a measure dubbed ‘no means no.’
The 21-year-old Iraqi, known as Hussain A, was given a one year suspended jail term. Hussein A. had kissed a young woman against her will and then licked her face.
‘We see that as sexual assault,’ said judge Gerd Krämer. ‘He forced the victim to accept the kiss and lick.’
An Algerian, Hassan T was also found guilty of being an accomplice to a sexual assault carried out by a group of around 20 men.
The 26-year-old told a man who was walking with two female victims ‘Give me the girls, give me the girls – or you’re dead.’
The court said this was attempted assault. Hassan T was also handed a one-year suspended jail term.
Hassan T has been in Germany since autumn 2014, Hussein A. since September 2015.
The two women broke down and wept while testifying against them.
Jennifer W 27, sobbed as she described how she was grabbed on her buttocks and then fondled by another man while a third tried to plunder cash from her purse.
Her friend Lena S. told how she screamed ‘NO! NO! NO!’ when attacked.