More than 2,000 men reportedly sexually assaulted 1,200 German women on New Year's Eve
German authorities reportedly believe that more than 1,200 women were sexually assaulted across the country on New Year’s Eve and that more than 2,000 men were allegedly involved.
The German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and other German broadcasters published a leaked police document Sunday that shed some light on the details surrounding the mass sex crimes, according to The Washington Post. Authorities believe that at least 600 of the sex assaults occurred in Cologne and 400 occurred in Hamburg.
Only 120 suspects, most of them foreign nationals, have been identified in the mass sex crimes. The Post reported that a 21-year-old Iraqi man and a 26-year-old Algerian man were given suspended one-year sentences. A court spokesman said both men arrived in Germany within the last two years.
One official told the German paper that the mass sex crimes were a result of the refugee crisis.
"There is a connection between the emergence of this phenomenon and the rapid migration in 2015," Holger Münch, president of the German Federal Crime Police Office, said.
He also said he doesn’t think most of the suspected attackers will ever be convicted. The Post noted that Germany doesn’t have a lot of CCTV cameras installed in its major cities.
"We have to presume that many of those crimes will never be fully investigated,” Münch added.
Last week, German lawmakers passed a bill that will make it easier for victims of sex crimes to file criminal complaints if they rejected their attacker’s advances with a clear “no.”
German law previously required victims to show that they physically resisted attack before charges for rape and other sexual assaults could be brought. Women's rights campaigners argued that Germany's failure to recognize the principle of "no means no" was one of the main reasons for low reporting and conviction rates for rape in the country.
According to figures cited by Heiko Maas, the country's justice minister, only one in 10 rapes in Germany is reported and just 8 percent of rape trials result in convictions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.