Feb 16, 2017
Claims that dozens of Arab men in Frankfurt, Germany carried out a mass sexual assault against women during New Year’s celebrations are a “hoax,” police officials have determined.
The Bild newspaper reported on February 6 that a throng of at least 50 Arab men laid siege to restaurant patrons on Fressgass street, sexually molesting nearby women and stealing personal property. A 27-year-old woman identified only as “Irina A,” claimed to have been a victim, saying that the men “grabbed me under my skirt, between the legs and on my breast – everywhere.” The tabloid also quoted a chef named Jan Mai, who claimed to be a witness to the rampage. The alleged perpetrators were described as refugees who had been settled in Middle Hessia.
Speaking with the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, police officials said that “Interviews with the alleged witnesses, guests and employees led to major doubts [regarding] the version of events that had been presented. One of the alleged victims was not even in Frankfurt at the time the [crimes] are said to have taken place,” the police explained.
Prior to publication of the Bild report, no sexual assaults had been reported. The department has unequivocally concluded that “Masses of refugees were not responsible for any sexual assaults in the Fressgass over New Year. The accusations are completely baseless.”
Prosecutors are considering whether to file charges against Mai and the unnamed 27-year-old woman. Bild’s Editor-in-Chief Julian Reichelt has apologized for publishing the inaccurate account, and the paper has expressed regrets “for the untruthful article and accusations made in it. This article in no way met the journalistic standards of Bild,” the paper insisted in a retraction published on its website.