The trial about the sexual assault of a mentally handicapped woman on a park bench in Forchheim made the headlines almost seven months ago. Now the case has been reopened.At that time, the 3rd Criminal Division of the Bamberg Regional Court had sentenced the perpetrator to 22 months in prison, but at the same time had placed the 37-year-old Afghan in a psychiatric hospital. Now the proceedings had to be reopened due to an appeal at the Federal High Court.
Hadi W. (name amended) spent almost half a year in the closed section of the district hospital in Bayreuth. However, the sex offender has not started therapy – despite the clear verdict he still considers himself innocent. His public defender Jochen Kaller from Bamberg used the time to appeal to the Federal Court of Justice in Leipzig. The 6th Criminal Senate there had no doubt about W.’s guilt and also found the sentence to be appropriate.In April 2019, W. had grabbed a mentally handicapped woman on a park bench during a bicycle trip to the sports island Forchheim, pulled down her pants and underpants and wanted to force her to perform sexual acts. Only a stroller with his dog had driven W. away.Only in the case of placement in a district hospital did the presiding judge Günther Sander and his Federal Court of Justice colleagues have legal reservations. In their view, the prognosis of danger in particular was not sufficiently justified. However, the psychiatric expert Christoph Mattern from Bayreuth had very well found a brain-organic psychosyndrome.According to the expert, this could be explained by a blow to the head with a rifle butt by Taliban fighters, a serious motorcycle accident and smoke poisoning in an apartment fire. However, the Federal Court of Justice was unable to determine that Hadi W. could be expected to commit further serious crimes due to illness.The Criminal Division, which is responsible for appeals and revisions at the Bamberg Regional Court, took a similar view: it suspended the placement and sentenced him to a suspended sentence. At the end of the day, W. left the Palace of Justice a free man. “But you were not acquitted”, said presiding judge Marion Schmidt. Instead, he had to prove himself now.W. must remain exempt from punishment for three years, report every change of residence, visit the police once a month, find a legal guardian and cooperate with the probation officer – but then in Erfurt, where Hadi W. presumably wants to move to. His sister lives there.The fact that the prison sentence was suspended on probation had several reasons: Firstly, Hadi W. had no criminal record. For another, he had already spent 16 months behind bars. Furthermore, his victim allegedly does not suffer from permanent physical or psychological late effects.