German coach jailed for 300 counts of child abuse

20th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

The court reduced his sentence because he had confessed to his crime.

Berlin -- A former coach for the German athletics association was jailed on Wednesday for eight years on nearly 300 counts of sexually abusing children as young as eight.

The 49-year-old, identified only as Ewald K., abused one boy at least 215 times over a six-year period, the first case taking place when he was eight years old, a court in Munich said.

In at least 82 other cases, K. abused seven youngsters under the age of 18. The court judged he was likely to offend again and ruled he was to be held under preventive detention after he serves his sentence.

According to the Bild daily website, K. broke down in tears when he was sentenced, saying: "I regret what happened. If I could take it back, I would take it back."

Television pictures showed the blond-haired man covering his face with a grey file as he was led into court.

The court said his sentence behind bars was reduced because he had confessed to his crime.

"This was particularly important because it meant the victims did not have to be summoned before the court and questioned, thus sparing them psychological pain," the court said in a statement.

The sentence was also lightened because the court took into account the fact that the crimes took place over an 18-year period in total.


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