A Syrian refugee is on trial in Germany, for the attempted rape of a 24-year-old woman on 8 January 2017. He is said to have followed his intended victim when she made her way home from the German city of Kleve to the village of Warbeyen where she lives. Around 05:45 he struck, pulling her into a field. Yesterday she gave her testimony in court:

He had pushed me to the ground. I tried to free myself, but without success. Then he hit me again and again, pulled my hair and told me: “just once.“”

The defendant had kneeled over her, trying to kiss her. He tried to prevent her cries for help by strangling her, and pressing her mouth shut. Meanwhile, he began opening her coat.

The only reason why the Syrian refugee was not able to rape her, was the quick response by the victim’s father. When his daughter noticed she was being followed, she telephoned her father, who drove in her direction on his moped. When he didn’t find her, as expected, on the stretch of road between Kellen and Warbeyen, he searched the surrounding area. Eventually, he heard her cry for help from a nearby field. The woman told the court on the witness stand:

My father pulled the man from me, pressed him to the ground and cried to me to immediately call the police.

Her father was able to hold the Syrian down until the police arrived. Since the fight with her would-be rapist, the 24-year-old has been suffering from a number of painful hematomas, bruises, and abrasions:

Afterwards, I could hardly move,

she said, recounting the countless punches in her face and on her body. Although the physical damage has healed over time, the young woman suffers the psychological effects to this day. She is constantly fearful and only leaves the house after dark with a male companion.

The accused has told the police, he can’t remember the deed. He refused to answer the President of the Court, Judge Jürgen Ruby, when asked about the charges leveled against him. Through an interpreter, he told his life’s story, about how he fled his country after the war began, with his father buying his way out of military service, allowing him to flee to Germany.

It has always been my dream, to come to Germany and live here. I would like to start a family here.

The Syrian crossed from Turkey into Greece, but left that safe country to travel through Serbia and Austria to Germany, where he has been living since November 2015, in Kleve.

His trial for attempted rape and bodily harm will continue on Wednesday, with a third day of trial scheduled for the following Thursday. On Wednesday multiple policemen and the father of the victim, who was wounded saving his daughter, will give their testimony.