German men sentenced for making women sex slaves
BERLIN (Reuters) – A German court sentenced a pair of middle-aged men to more than 12 years in prison on Wednesday for sexually abusing and torturing two young women they held captive for several weeks — part of the time in a dog kennel.
The ordeal ended when a third woman taken hostage by the two German men managed to escape her captors and alert police, the court in the northern town of Verden said.
In addition to jail sentences, the court ordered the accused, identified as Stephan K., 42, and Bernd K., 55, to pay damages of 150,000 euros ($237,000) to each of the two women, while the third woman was awarded 5,000 euros.
The abuse of the women, who were aged between 18 and 23 at the time, began when the eldest was captured in August 2006 after she followed up a fake job advert posted by the men. Four weeks later, the men abducted the second woman the same way.
During their captivity at a two-storey house in Garlstedt near Bremen, the two women were repeatedly raped, a spokeswoman for the court said.
They were also locked in a kennel, made to crawl around on all fours on a leash, eat from a dog bowl and subjected to blasts of deafening music, she added.
The men, who filmed some of the abuse, also forced one of the women to prostitute herself, or face violent reprisals.
“The court concluded that the men who came for sex were unaware of the circumstances,” the spokeswoman said.
In mid-October, the men bound and gagged their third victim, but she escaped handcuffed and naked through an upstairs window, and alerted police with the help of a passing jogger.
Afterwards, the two men fled, each taking one of the remaining women by force. Within four days, Bernd K. had turned himself in, the court said. Police captured the younger man with the last captive woman just over a month later.
The older man received a 12-1/2 year sentence, while Stephan K. was handed a 14-year term, to be followed by a potentially indefinite period of preventive detention, the spokeswoman said.
The latter sentence reflected the fact the man had marked sociopathic and sadistic tendencies, she added.
“The court said they were deeply ingrained and would probably be apparent when he was 70,” she said.
The 14-month trial of the men, which received considerable attention in local German media, was partly closed to the public due to the disturbing nature of the evidence.
(Reporting by Dave Graham, editing by Erik Kirschbaum and Mary Gabirel)