Algerian man acquitted of New Year’s Eve sex assault

A 26-year-old Algerian man has been cleared of accusations of sexual assault during New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The 26-year-old Algerian man who faced charges of assaulting a woman during New Year's Eve celebrations in Cologne, covers his head at a regional court in Cologne in western Germany, May 6, 2016.

Cologne's district court has cleared a 26-year-old Algerian man of sex assault charges relating to the New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne due to lack of evidence as the victim could not recognise him.

The mas was identified as one of ten attackers who surrounded, groped and robbed a woman at Cologne's central railway station.

The man was sentenced to six months of probation because the police found the woman’s mobile phone on him, which he later claimed he bought from a friend.

The court also found him guilty of breaking into a car last December.

Among the Cologne attackers is the man’s brother who also faces charges of assaulting the woman.

Since the night of the attacks more and more women have come forward. Some 1,170 criminal complaints have been reported relating to the New Year's Eve Cologne attacks, 492 of which involve sexual assaults.

A 19-year-old Moroccan man believed to be one of the attackers will be tried soon after he was arrested in southern Germany last week for allegedly shoplifting.

Another Moroccan man is on trial in the western city of Duesseldorf over a New Year's attack there in which he allegedly groped an 18-year-old woman who was encircled by some 15 to 20 men.