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Psychologist accused of sexual assault

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Graz-Karlau prison. Photo: APA
15:54 CEST+02:00
A psychologist employed by the Ministry of Justice in Graz-Karlau prison is being investigated for sexual harassment.

According to a report in Falter magazine the psychologist, the deputy head of the prison psychology service, inappropriately touched and verbally harassed his female employees on several occasions. 

The women said that he touched their breasts, used vulgar expressions when talking with them and demanded sex. He would also stand topless in his office and suntan by the window.

The Graz prosecutor has confirmed that an investigation is under way and told the Austrian Press Agency that there were two charges - one to do with sexual harassment and the other to do with one prison inmate’s suicide.

The psychologist works with sex offenders, and according to his colleagues would refer to the prisoners as “creatures”.

One former employee has testified that she was so traumatised by his harassment that she quit her job and was unable to function socially.

According to Falter the psychologist’s former boss is also reported to have sexually harassed younger female colleagues, but he is not being investigated.

The accused psychologist said in his defence that his female colleagues would voluntarily “cuddle” with him, and that the affair was only a “mini scandal” for which he was being “mobbed”. His former boss said the whole thing had been “taken out of context”.

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