A swimming instructor who worked at swimming pools in the City of Baden-Baden in South-west Germany received a 12-year prison sentence for sexually abusing 37 girls by a Court in the City on Monday.
The girls were under his care.On completion of his sentence, he is to be placed in preventive detention. The sentence was in line with what prosecutors had called for.
The man’s defence lawyer called for a six-year sentence and rejected the demand for preventive detention, saying there were no legal grounds for it.
The public was excluded from the courtroom, in response to an application from a lawyer acting for the victims, although parents and media reporters were permitted to attend.
During the trial, the accused told the court that he had been blackmailed into making underwater videos of the girls aged as young as four.
The lawyer of the 34-year-old accused read out a statement to the effect that his client had made the initial video out of curiosity using another man’s camera.
He alleged that this man, his superior, had later threatened him, insisting that he should make more videos, but the court rejected this as a lie.
“I’m eternally sorry and would like to apologise for everything that I have done,’’ he said, acknowledging that his mistakes could not be excused or made good.
The assault on the girls in the pools and in changing rooms went unnoticed for two years until parents became suspicious.
The court considered as many as 200 separate incidents, and the police investigation turned up video recordings in the man’s home.
The man, who has never had previous convictions worked as a freelance teacher for three different swimming schools in the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg from 2015 to 2017.
He has been in jail for more than a year pending trial.