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Asylum seeker confesses in Vienna court to pool rape

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Asylum seeker confesses in Vienna court to pool rape
The attack happened at the Theresienbad swimming pool. Photo: Thomas Ledl/Wikimedia
12:30 CEST+02:00
An asylum seeker from Iraq accused of raping a ten-year-old boy in a toilet cubicle at a swimming pool in Vienna pleaded guilty in court yesterday.

Twenty-year-old Amir A., who is from Iraq and married with a child of his own, claimed that was a "sexual emergency" when he attacked the schoolboy last December at the Theresienbad in Vienna's Meidling area.

The young boy was swimming at the pool by himself and had befriended a 15-year-old boy, who was with the Iraqi man. When the youngster went off to the showers after his swim the 20-year-old followed him and pushed the boy into a toilet cubicle, where he assaulted him.

After the attack the seemingly unconcerned man stayed in the swimming pool and was even using the diving board when police came to arrest him.

Later during his police interrogation, Amir A. attempted to excuse himself, saying that it had been a “sexual emergency” as he hadn’t had sex “for four months”.

When asked whether it was illegal to have sex with young boys in Iraq, he said “such a thing is forbidden in any country in the world,” adding that he realised it had been “a huge mistake”.

In court in Vienna this week, defence lawyer said: “He has confessed to all charges.”

Amir A., who left Iraq where he worked as a taxi driver in August 2015, told the court that he had “wanted to build a future for myself and my family”, according to the Kurier.

Although initially heading to Sweden, he eventually claimed asylum in Austria and was placed in refugee accommodation in Hietzing.

He faces ten years in jail for the rape but the court case was adjourned after it was revealed that the schoolboy is also suffering serious psychological problems since the attack.

A psychiatric report is now being prepared and if the serious psychological consequences are confirmed, then the possible jail sentence could increase to 15 years on a charge of aggravated grievous bodily harm.

During the court hearing the man said that he still wanted to bring his young wife and child to Austria, even though he was now facing jail and his asylum application had not been granted.

The mother of the victim, who arrived in Austria herself as an immigrant from Serbia during the civil war says she regrets teaching her five children to offer the same hospitality to new arrivals that she had herself received.

She said earlier this year that her boy still has psychological scars “which may never heal”, and that he has to take antidepressants and sleeping tablets.

Since his arrest, Amir A. has been kept in solitary confinement and under tight security in Vienna's Josefstadt jail to protect him from other prisoners shocked at his alleged attack on a ten-year-old boy.

Story by The Local Austria/Central European News

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