Suspended term for teenager who abused girl, 13

Reporter: Marina Berry
Date published: 17 September 2009

A FAMILY from Shaw today spoke of their relief after a German teenager was given a 21/2-year suspended prison sentence by a Turkish court after being found guilty of sexually abusing their 13-year-old daughter.

The father of the girl, who is now 15, told the Evening Chronicle today that the family was relieved it was now at an end and their daughter could move on with her life. He said: “It has been a terrible ordeal for her.”

The family was the target of a media frenzy shortly after the case went to court, forcing them to flee their home as TV crews, reporters and photographers camped outside. Police were forced to patrol the girl’s school and pupils were warned not to speak to foreign journalists posing as education officials.

Marcus Weiss, now 19, spent eight months in custody in a jail in the Mediterranean city of Antalya in 2007 on charges of sexually abusing a child, before he was released and returned to Germany.

The court said yesterday that he will remain free but be monitored over the next two years and six months, and required to serve his remaining prison term if he convicts a crime. The incident took place in April, 2007, in the resort of Side, near Antalya, where the two teenagers were holidaying with their families.

Weiss, who was 17 at the time, maintained that the two became close and ended up in the girl’s hotel bedroom one night where they had physical contact but not intercourse. He also said the girl had lied about her age and said she was 15. He was arrested the next day after the girl’s mother filed a complaint about him to police.

The conclusion of the case brings to an end a lengthy trial which caused controversy in Germany, where critics said it had gone on too long.

The girl cannot be named for legal reasons.