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Swimming pool rape suspect faces up to ten years in jail

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The attack happened at the Theresienbad swimming pool. Photo: Thomas Ledl/Wikimedia
13:01 CET+01:00
Prosecutors have said an asylum seeker accused of raping a ten-year-old boy at a swimming pool in Vienna will be charged with rape, sexual abuse of a minor and slander.

The Iraqi refugee, who was 20 at the time of the attack, had gone to the swimming pool in Meidling last year with a 15-year-old boy who is also a refugee but who has lived in Austria for a while and can speak German well.

When the 20-year-old was arrested at the swimming pool he told police the 15-year-old was responsible for the sex attack, something the teenager and the young victim both said was a lie. 

A lifeguard at the pool had immediately called police and an ambulance after the boy went to him in floods of tears, while the alleged Iraqi rapist was so unconcerned by what he had done that he had not even left the swimming pool. He was jumping off the three-metre diving board when police arrived and arrested him.

The migrant had entered the country through the Balkans on September 13th last year, official records show. He told police he could not help abusing the ten-year-old as he had an "excess of sexual energy".

A spokeswoman for Vienna Criminal Court, Christina Salzborn, told the Austria Press Agency that the Iraqi's defence team can challenge the charges this week but that if found guilty he faces up to ten years in prison.

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The shocking attack happened in December last year, but police did not release details at the time in order to protect the rights of the young victim.

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