A youth leader of a Franconian water sports club committed sexual assault on boys for around a quarter of a century. The man died last summer, and the dimensions of the abuse case are only now becoming known.
The man had sexually abused at least 57 male children and adolescents in around 1400 cases within 26 years, said Chief Public Prosecutor Michael Schrotberger from the Ansbach public prosecutor’s office. Several media, including ARD, had previously reported on the increased number of victims. At first there was talk of 30 children and young people.
The 56-year-old had worked as the youth leader of a water sports club in the Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen district since 1991. A man with two faces, as Schrotberger described. “Outwardly he was the caring, over-committed, rule-minded, but with the children he had a completely different regime.” According to ARD and nordbayern.de, the acts took place, among other things, on sailing trips to Croatia, but also on the club premises.
The victims never said anything out of shame. “There were always rumors in the association that the accused did not keep the necessary distance from the children, but there was never any talk of criminal acts,” said Schrotberger. A network of perpetrators was not found. Investigations against a member of the Board of Management were also ultimately suspended.
The allegations only came to light when the youth leader had already given up his work for the club and three victims filed charges. The investigation then picked up speed within a few days, and the man was placed in custody. He was silent on the allegations and killed himself in his cell in June 2020 after a little over a week.
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Ansbach youth leader water sports club abused children young people