A 27-year-old disabled man had to answer to the Ebersberg District Court. He was given a suspended sentence. © Stefan Rossmann
The sex life of people with disabilities is a taboo subject between guardianship and self-determination. A hot topic had to be negotiated by the Ebersberg jury court.
Ebersberg - In front of the Ebersberg jury court, an autistic (27) sat in the dock because he had groped little boys. A psychiatric expert attested to the man, who lives in one of the dormitories scattered throughout the district of the Steinhöring facility association (EVS), a homosexual pedophile inclination.
In two cases, this urge had legal consequences. In the summer of 2021, the man had approached a playground within sight of his apartment and asked a ten-year-old boy to show him his penis from a bush. A little more than a year later, the man had grabbed a ten-year-old in a restaurant toilet while washing his hands from behind in the pants and groin – punishable as child sexual abuse.
Defendant immediately admits to deeds: "It's true"
"It's true," the defendant immediately admitted the crimes – and also confirmed that two similar incidents had occurred a few years ago during an excursion to Vienna, without being charged. "Honestly, I didn't think," he said of his motive. He has a sporadic relationship with a peer from the EVS care environment.
The expert did not want to determine whether the autistic person is less culpable. It cannot be ruled out. "You don't know what he's thinking," he said of a combination of developmental delay, low intelligence, and impaired emotional perception. At the trial, the mental limitation was noticeable in facial expressions and pressed, monotonous speech. In terms of content, the defendant seemed to be able to follow, but emotionally had difficulty classifying the events.
Court: Public has the right to protection
This did not save him from being convicted. Judge Frank Gellhaus emphasized the public's right to protection against such attacks. The testimony of the father of the boy groped at the sink was close to the court. His son no longer dares to go to public toilets and has sometimes sat in winter gear in school lessons because it felt safer.
The court struggled to find a sensible solution for a defendant who stated that his hobby was copying Wikipedia articles with a fountain pen. In order to slow down impulse actions, the EVS had screwed its patio door shut with a view of the playground. The father of one of the boys commented on the fact that the man lives so close to a children's institution with the words: "This goes against common sense!"
Defendant must undergo close therapy
The court and experts were not satisfied with the measures taken so far, including low-impact medication and individual psychological interviews. "You're into little guys and no one has offered you help so far," Gellhaus said. He instructed the defendant to undergo close therapy in an outpatient clinic specializing in sex offenders. This is the only way for the man to avoid imprisonment. The court set this at one year and ten months – and put it on probation.
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In consultation with his public defender, the man accepted the verdict immediately. Visibly moved, his parents watched the trial from the auditorium and, during a break, apologized to those present for their son's actions, who could not find words for them, "even if it is inexcusable," said the mother.
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