Iraqi refugee who raped 10-year-old boy at swimming pool in Austria jailed for six years

The 20-year-old man reportedly told police that he had a 'sexual emergency'

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 15 June 2016 16:53
Austrian police did not initially release details of the rape, which took place on 2 December at the Theresienbad pool
Austrian police did not initially release details of the rape, which took place on 2 December at the Theresienbad pool

An Iraqi refugee who raped a 10-year-old boy at a swimming pool in Austria has been jailed for a minimum of six years.

The 20-year-old man, who has not been named, had admitted rape and the aggravated sexual abuse of a minor at a court in Vienna.

His attack in December last year sparked a backlash against migrants in the country, which has since seen support for anti-immigration groups rise and implemented a controversial cap on refugee numbers.

Reported sexual harrassment by asylum seekers at swimming pools has sparked controversy across Europe 

Police said the man attacked the boy in a toilet cubicle at the Theresienbad swimming pool in the Austrian capital on 2 December.

The child reported the rape to a lifeguard and his attacker was arrested at the scene, reportedly telling police in initial interviews that he was “pursuing desires” and “had not had sex in four months”.

A court awarded his family €4,700 (£3,700) compensation on Tuesday, Kronen Zeitung newspaper reported, after prosecutors described the boy suffering physical injuries and “profound depression”.

Defence lawyers cited the rapist’s clean criminal record, young age and “unfavourable living conditions” in mitigation.

He six-year sentence may be reviewed, with a maximum term of 15 years, after which he may be deported.

The victim’s mother had previously revealed the boy, known as Goran, had been “screaming and crying every night” since the attack and had talked of suicide.

The woman, who moved to Austria as a Serbian refugee, told the Heute newspaper she felt her “blood boil” when she read reports of the attacker’s so-called “sexual emergency”.

The man arrived in Austria in September having travelled along the Balkan route and settled in Vienna.

Reports of sexual harassment and attacks by asylum seekers at swimming pools have generated controversy across Europe, sparking a ban on male migrants at one pool in Germany and “vigilante” patrols in Sweden.

Police statistics in Germany showed that sex offences make up a tiny proportion of crimes committed by refugees and migrants in the country, which are mostly related to transport and documents.