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Asylum seeker found guilty of rape will not be deported

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The Traiskirchen refugee camp. Photo: Voice of America/Wikimedia
12:05 CET+01:00
A 17-year-old asylum seeker who raped a 72-year-old pensioner has been jailed for 20 months.

Details of the case were revealed this week when the now 18-year-old from Afghanistan appeared in court.

At the same time, it was revealed that after serving his sentence he will not be deported as the sentence is not more than three years, according to a report in the Kurier newspaper.

The pensioner, whose daughter Sylvia was a helper working with refugees, had been walking her dog alongside the canal in Traiskirchen, where Austria's largest refugee centre is located.

She was attacked last autumn, but police admitted it was not reported at the time to local media because of the sensitivity of the subject.

The 72-year-old woman, identified only as Christina F., said: "It was a really hot day and I decided to take my dog for a walk along the Schwechat River, and saw two young men swimming there."

She said that one of the young men had reached out his hand to her, asking her to help him onto the bank, which she did. She said: "Suddenly, I felt a blow from behind."

She was grabbed and then pushed to the ground, and the attacker put his hand over her mouth and used his other hand to tear off her clothing.

A friend of the old woman, Hans Vesely, 72, said: "The dog that she had with her was 13 years old and was sadly not up to protecting his mistress from the attack."

The badly injured woman, who weighs just 48 kilos (7.5 stone) and had been unable to fight the men off, managed to get herself home where she locked the door. She was found later by a friend who saw her bruises from the beating, and she confessed what had happened.

"She is not the same woman anymore. She doesn't trust being left on her own and does not leave home, and she's become very weak since the incident," Vesely said. 

The attacker was only caught because he committed another crime after the rape, and was forced to give a DNA sample. The DNA sample provided matched the one found on his elderly victim, and he was arrested.

Story continues below…

The teenager, identified only as Wahab M., initially denied the rape, claiming that he was drunk and could not remember what happened. In addition, his friend who was also arrested told police he had not seen anything.

Because at the time he was only 17 years old, Wahab M. was punished by the youth court where the maximum sentence is five years, but because he had no previous convictions and eventually admitted the rape in the face of the DNA evidence, it was reduced to 20 months. The shorter length of sentence means he will not face deportation.

Interior Ministry officials said that last year 3,278 asylum applicants were deported, but in almost every case it was because their application had been rejected. Of those deported, less than a handful of them were sent back because of a criminal conviction.

Story courtesy of Central European News.

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