Austrian court issues same sentence in Iraqi rape case retrial

I wrote previously about a rape case in Austria involving an Iraqi refugee. Amir A. claimed that he experienced a “sexual emergency” while at a swimming pool. In response, he snatched a random boy, took him to a stall, and raped the child. Amir then returned to the diving board as if nothing had happened. When police approached him, Amir admitted to the rape, claiming that he had not had sex in months and “[…]couldn’t stand not having sex as [he had] excess sexual energy.”

Amir was later convicted on sexual assault and faced six years in jail. However, in October the Austrian Supreme Court overturned the conviction, claiming:

[…] that while the verdict was “watertight” with regard to the serious sexual abuse of a juvenile, the written verdict on the second indictment, rape, cannot be sufficiently proved.

According to the Supreme Court, the first court should have ascertained whether the offender had thought that the victim agreed to the sexual act and whether Amir A. had the intention to act against the will of the boy.

As I noted in that post, one would think that would be clear by the boy seeking out help and informing the authorities that Amir assaulted him that the boy did not give his consent. One would also think that would be apparent from Amir’s admission to the crime and that the government awarded monetary compensation to the victim’s family.

Apparently that was not the case. Instead, the court needed a new trial, which resulted in a new conviction with essentially the same sentence:

Hearing the case again on Tuesday, the Vienna court found that the conditions defining rape had indeed been fulfilled, the Kronen Zeitung reported.

And upon resentencing Amir, the court decided to hand down a longer prison sentence of seven years. A figure of €4,700 to be paid in damages to the victim’s family was also increased, to €5,000.

One extra year and an additional €300. That seems a colossal waste of time and money for what the court admitted was clear sexual assault. The only apparent reason for this retrial appears political. It appears to be an attempt to assuage any accusations of racism or anti-immigrant attitudes in the government. While the incident did prompt a backlash from Austrians regarding further immigration, that has nothing to do with the facts of this case.

Amir admitted to targeting the boy, raping him, and going about his business as if nothing happened. He seemed to think he had the right to rape a child, or anyone, just to release his sexual tension. At what point does one need to consider anything else about the case, be it Amir’s age, past behavior, or life experiences? Nothing justifies assaulting a child and then acting as if you did nothing wrong.

More so, the trial did not result in any significant change to the sentence. It was a complete waste of time, as if the government were stalling for some reason, even though Amir, due to other charges, was not released from jail.

Of course, his lawyer will again file for an appeal:

After the new sentence was handed down, defence lawyer Roland Kier asked for three days for his client to consider launching a fresh appeal, according to Kronen Zeitung.

While I realize Amir has the legal right to appeal the sentence, why do it? The facts, based on Amir’s own admission, show that he deliberately assaulted the victim. What is there to appeal? What part of the sentence is unfair? What could possibly justify releasing a person who clearly does not care about anyone’s safety or consent?

The defense attorney should know that Amir has little chance of winning such an appeal. His own words condemn him. Again, this becomes a colossal waste of time and money.

Meanwhile, the boy who this man raped suffers from post trauma stress disorder and he has a whopping €5,000 ($5,187) to use to pay for therapy and treatment. Perhaps the Austrian government should be more concerned with helping the assaulted 10-year-old boy rather than trying to cover for a child rapist.

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10 thoughts on “Austrian court issues same sentence in Iraqi rape case retrial

  1. While it’s always hard to completely understand another country’s legal process, in this case it beggars belief. The kind of creepy thing is, it makes you wonder what is considered acceptable in Iraq.

  2. The kind of creepy thing is, it makes you wonder what is considered acceptable in Iraq.

    It is fairly common. While Iraq does not have the same “dancing boy” practice as Afghanistan, the idea that men can use boys for sex is still prevalent there. Yet I would think even an act like this would be out of line in Iraq.

  3. I am sorry, but this is complete bullshit!

    1. The case had to be repeated, because at the time of the first decision it was not known that the boy had PTSD. In order to consider this and better serve justice, the case was repeated. The causing of PTSD in this case is considered grievous bodily harm, which is also why the sentence is now higher.
    2. The Austria justice system is aimed at recreating an original status. Now of course you cannot unrape the boy, but neither does drowning him in money help this kid. All the therapy the kid needs is covered by the excellent Austrian public health care system, so neither the kid nor the family are left alone in the rain. As for the length of the sentence: I think there is no country, where the sentence for rape is not a controversial topic. There simply is no right answer and you can like it or dislike it, but the decision was made by a court and as such, has to be respected.

    Please check your sources and clarify this! Austrians are extremely sensible with such topics. A few weeks ago we nearly elected an extreme right wing president because of the refugee crisis, yet nobody was raising the voice about a court freeing a refugee for not understanding a boy?

    If you understand a bit of German or want to use google translate, here are some Austrian sources:
    http://www.krone.at/newsfeed/theresienbad-sextaeter-zu-7-jahren-haft-verurteilt-strafe-erhoeht-story-543967
    This is even the source that is quoted!!
    http://diepresse.com/home/panorama/wien/5133428/Bub-in-Hallenbad-vergewaltigt_Sieben-Jahre-Haft
    http://derstandard.at/2000049226927/Sieben-Jahre-Haft-fuer-Vergewaltigung-im-Hallenbad

  4. Schala you’re not getting it. Young boys are considered fair game. Some, especially the pretty boys, seek out men in positions of power to prevent rape from multiple men. Young boys are offered out like candy or coffee in some of the more rural retreats

  5. I think what the Austrian courts have done is to send the public a message, “You will not get justice through the courts in these matters.” Now, had an immigrant girl been assaulted by a local man, that would be seen much differently.

  6. >Schala you’re not getting it. Young boys are considered fair game. Some, especially the pretty boys, seek out men in positions of power to prevent rape from multiple men.

    Doesn’t matter if you can relieve “pressure” with your left hand. He wasn’t seeking closeness or intimacy, was he?

  7. “Some, especially the pretty boys, seek out men in positions of power to prevent rape from multiple men. Young boys are offered out like candy or coffee in some of the more rural retreats.”

    Sounds a bit like “punks” in U.S. prisons to me.

  8. 1. The case had to be repeated, because at the time of the first decision it was not known that the boy had PTSD. In order to consider this and better serve justice, the case was repeated. The causing of PTSD in this case is considered grievous bodily harm, which is also why the sentence is now higher.

    That was not the reason given according to the numerous articles about this case. The reason given for the retrial was that it was not clear that Amir did not know the boy’s level of consent. The court already knew the boy suffered from PTSD, which is part of the reason the boy’s family received monetary compensation.

    The second article you provided does state that the addition of PTSD could add a potential 15-year sentence, however, the article also states (as per Google Translate):

    While other charges – aggravated sexual abuse of minors and slander – are already done legally, had a aldermen Senate chaired by Judge Beate Matschnig now again negotiate the discredited rape. The Supreme Court has ruled to that extent a rerun of the process.

    Again, it appears the issue regards the rape charge, which according to other articles hinged on whether Amir knew the boy’s level of consent.

    2. The Austria justice system is aimed at recreating an original status.

    That makes no sense at all. The new sentence added a year and 300 Euros. What difference does that make?

    Now of course you cannot unrape the boy, but neither does drowning him in money help this kid. All the therapy the kid needs is covered by the excellent Austrian public health care system, so neither the kid nor the family are left alone in the rain.

    I cannot speak to that as I do not know enough about Austria’s health care system. However, the money in and of itself is paltry compared to the physical and psychological damage done to the boy. It would not even cover his medical expenses, let alone any therapy expenses, the latter of which would eventually become expensive.

    As for the length of the sentence: I think there is no country, where the sentence for rape is not a controversial topic.

    I do not have a problem with the initial six-year sentence per se. It is the idea that one would retry the case for an idiotic reason and the resulting new sentence is only 12 months longer. That was a waste of time and money, particularly given that it is likely Amir will not remain in jail for the entire sentence. It served no purpose.

    There simply is no right answer and you can like it or dislike it, but the decision was made by a court and as such, has to be respected.

    No, it does not. The court’s decision was moronic, and I will call it such.

  9. Schala:

    Doesn’t matter if you can relieve “pressure” with your left hand.

    It comes down to the cultural attitude. In those countries, it is seen as appropriate to use boys in this manner, as long as it is not public. That does not always apply. For example, in Afghanistan, the men will parade around with their boys or brag about them publicly. Usually, however, it is something people know about but do not mention.

    He wasn’t seeking closeness or intimacy, was he?

    According to Amir’s statement to the police, he simply wanted to release his “sexual tension”. One would think a hand would suffice, but apparently a non-consenting body was preferable.

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