On 19 October, the regional German newspaper Rhein-Sieg-Anzeiger published an article on the court case against Eric D., a 31-year-old man from Ghana who is suspected of aggravated robbery of a 27-year-old man and his 23-year-old girlfriend, and the subsequent rape of the 23-year-old woman, while they were camping near Siegaue. On 18 October, Eric D. heard the State Prosecutor demand a 13-year prison sentence.

Around midnight on 2 April, Eric D. is said to have used a saw to slit open the tent where the couple was sleeping. He then threatened them and took €6 and a speaker box. Subsequently, he pulled the 23-year-old woman from the tent and dragged her a couple of meters, before proceeding to rape her. He kept threatening her with the saw in such a way, that her boyfriend couldn’t risk coming to her aid.

Eric D. could be apprehended five days later, after a facial composite had been spread. He was found in the Central Refugee Center in Sankt Augustin, where he was held awaiting deportation for illegally travelling to Germany from Italy.

Before and in court, Eric D.’s behaviour was characterised as impulsive: he attacked two of the guards at his refugee centre and insulted the victim by calling her testimony “lies” and “a fairy tale” despite strong DNA-evidence. He also said she was a prostitute. In a gruelling, four hour testimony by the victims, Eric D. was identified as the thief and rapist. The testimony was held behind closed doors to protect the victims and became necessary after Eric D. refused to confess, after being asked to do so by the Lead Judge, Dr. Marc Eumann in order to spare the victims the ordeal of giving testimony. The Ghanaian refused, however, seemingly convinced of his innocence. He again doubted the finding of his DNA – in the form of a sperm trail – on the 23-year-old victim, claiming that he had spent the entire night going over the report with a dictionary and that:

what it said was lies. (…) I need the truth, not lies.

This was the day after a DNA-expert of the State Criminal Office had testified in court that the sperm-trace was Eric D.’s with a reliability of 30 billion to one.

At one point in the proceedings, Eric C. became emotional, fighting tears. That was when psychiatrist Dr. Wolfgang Schwachula gave expert testimony. Eric C. looked him in the eye, then started crying. Whether this was a trick, or genuine emotion, remains unclear. Dr. Schwachula, of the psychiatric clinic Langenfeld, testified that:

There is a clear discrepancy in the accused between his behaviour and the cause for an action, that is, between that what is, and that, what he would like to happen.

According to Dr. Schwachula, the grounds for this are in the suspect’s past. Eric D. had grown up in relatively luxurious circumstances as the son of a plantation owner, in the “roll of the prince.” After the death of his father, the family became embroiled in conflict, which ended in blood. The 31-year-old is said to have slain his brother-in-law and to have fled afterwards. He came to Italy via Libya, then made his way to Germany.