Wermelskirchen: Babysitter abuses children – “New dimension of brutality”

Wermelskirchen Abuse Complex
Babysitter abuses children: “New dimension of brutality” – Reul: “We get you!”

NRW Interior Minister Herber Reul threatens addicts after new case from Wermelskirchen: “We get you!”

© Federico Gambarini / DPA

Experienced child pornography investigators who thought they saw everything horribly were wrong. Cologne investigators say the new “Wermelskirchen” abuse complex has reached a new dimension of cruelty.

According to investigators, the new assault complex in Wermelskirchen has a dimension of brutality that surpasses other complexes. The main suspect is a 44-year-old from Wermelskirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The childless and married employee offered his services as a babysitter on the Internet and was thus able to address his victims, the investigators reported on Monday in Cologne. He also exchanged child pornographic images and videos of “unimaginable brutality” with dozens of other men.

“I am shocked and amazed. I have never encountered such a degree of inhuman brutality and brutal indifference to young children, their pain and their screams,” said Cologne Police Commissioner Falk Schnabel.

Wermelskirchen: At least 73 suspects and 33 victims

So far, 73 suspects and 33 victims have been identified, investigators reported. The youngest child was one month old. Among the victims are five infants and children with disabilities. Enormous amounts of data – 32 terabytes – with 3.5 million images and 1.5 million videos were secured.

The violent fantasies realized in the process shocked even experienced investigators in the area. “The most brutal rapes of babies and young children” were found. There is evidence that in some cases the children were anesthetized for this. It is possible that the number of victims of abuse will continue to increase. So far, only ten percent of the data has been evaluated.

“Please spare me the descriptions of what I saw,” said senior prosecutor Joachim Roth, visibly despairing. “What I saw shook me to the core.”

Some victims were unaware of the abuse

Nevertheless, the parents of the children never became suspicious, investigators reported. Some victims were also completely surprised by the news from the police that they had been subjected to the most serious abuse years ago when they were young children. You have been offered help.

The babysitter, who has no criminal record, is said to have abused twelve children in the greater Cologne area – ten boys and two girls. The crimes date back to 2005.

To gain access to the 44-year-old’s unencrypted data, special forces overpowered him last December while the computer was turned on during a video conference with work colleagues.

For their part, colleagues called the emergency number 110 because they thought they were witnessing a robbery. It then took 17 days to back up all data from 232 on-site data carriers.

A special “structural organization” called “List” now searches through the huge amounts of data. The name is due to the fact that the suspect has divided his child pornography archive into lists – presumably so as not to lose track. He has largely confessed to the crimes.

Herbert Reul: “We take you!”

The 44-year-old “saw one of the perpetrators of Münster abusing and gave instructions,” reported NRW’s Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) in Düsseldorf. “This happened via video chat online.” He also kept a journal of the inclinations of the other pedophiles. However, he does not currently know why he had not already been identified during investigations in the Münster complex.

“I can only say to all pedophiles: We will take you! Maybe not today, but one day we will stand at your door. Lügde, Bergisch Gladbach, Münster and now Wermelskirchen,” said Reul. He added: “One can sometimes lose faith in humanity by doing these things.”

In the “heute journal update” on Tuesday night, Reul said: “We need more technological help and we also need a legal framework. Sometimes I despair when I see how difficult it is for us to deal with the issue of data protection. . ” It may not be that an investigator says he has the IP address, he has the guy, but he does not know his name and where he lives. “Something needs to change in the right to data storage.”

Investigators in Cologne said it is currently being checked whether the 44-year-old can be taken into preventive custody. A psychiatric report was also ordered. The remaining suspects are fathers, neighbors, acquaintances, brothers or grandfathers of the victims.

The focus is on NRW with 26 procedures followed by Thuringia (6), Brandenburg (5), Schleswig-Holstein (5) and Lower Saxony (5). With the exception of Bremen and Saarland, all other federal states are also affected. A procedure had been handed over to Austria.

Most suspects are between 26 and 45 years old. Wermelskirchener was caught in November last year by investigating one of his chat partners in Berlin. His telephones were tapped until he was issued an arrest warrant by the Cologne District Court.


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