AB, a young man from Sint-Niklaas, risks a prison sentence of fifteen months because he filmed how a ‘friend’ was raped with a stick. “We were just playing,” he explained. “Extremely humiliating,” says the victim’s defense.
On Tuesday, AB from Sint-Niklaas had to appear before the Dendermond court after a game among comrades in a park in March of last year got out of hand. One of his ‘friends’ got a stick in the butt while the defendant did all this. captured on camera without intervening. According to the defendant, the victim was knocked to the ground as a joke. Then B.’s cousin came up with the bright idea to pull down the victim’s pants and penetrate him with a stick. The cousin was not charged as he was a minor at the time of the incident.
“Why didn’t you stop filming immediately?” the chairman asked the defendant. “We were just playing and I didn’t realize what was happening with that stick,” he explained. “I only saw it afterwards when I looked at the images. I then deleted them a few days later.” The victim’s defense speaks of an unimaginably humiliating experience. “Not only the facts themselves, but everything was filmed and possibly forwarded,” says the victim’s lawyer. “The psychological impact is great.”
According to the Public Prosecution Service, the facts are reprehensible and very serious. “The facts are clearly minimized and there is a clear lack of awareness of guilt. The defendant filmed everything and the footage also took place on his cue. There must be a clear signal that this will not be tolerated,” said the prosecutor who demanded fifteen months in prison.
“Culture of loitering youth”
The defendant’s lawyer wants to put the facts in context. “We are dealing here with the behavioral culture of loitering youth. They want to make each other tough to get through difficult situations,” he pleaded. “That’s the way they interact with each other. It’s kind of like that games to capture this in images. It is not the case that there was a stick ready in advance to commit the crimes. That was an inspiration of the moment that happened in just a few seconds.”
The chairman will pronounce the verdict on December 5.