The location of the incident is the gravel surface underneath the 560 motorway bridge over the river Sieg, near a body of water popular with those who enjoy swimming. It’s slightly off the beaten tracks, in a hollow in the ground, shielded from observation by a wall. A random passer-by would not be able to see it.

Last Wednesday, many people were there, basking in the relatively high temperatures of a summer’s night. They partied and barbequed. One of them was a young woman, of whom little is known, except that she is under-aged and is presumed to have been there with a group of friends and acquaintances. One of them a 26-year-old man from Eritrea, who has been in Germany since September 2014.

What happened that night is not exactly known. Some sources claim that the girl agreed to meet with the man, others merely state that they were members of the same group. What is clear, however, is that the girl claims that around 23:30 the man from Eritrea raped her. She confided in a friend, who informed the police immediately. Not much later, the Eritrean man was picked up at the Hennef railway station by the crew of a police patrol car.

When the officers took him into custody on suspicion of rape, he didn’t resist. The Eritrean was taken to the police station. During interrogation, he denied the act. Since his arrival Germany, he has never faced prosecution, but now the Public Prosecutor in Bonn filed a warrant for his arrest. Last Friday afternoon, he was brought before a magistrate, and heard the judge order his immediate detention.

The young woman, traumatised by what has happened to her, is with her parents in Obhut. The police have not disclosed her precise age, in order to shield the minor from further public scrutiny.

This might mean she is very young indeed. Trained victim caretakers are keeping an eye on the girl as well, with press spokesman for the police Dominique Müller-Grote emphasising that the “youth office is looking after the girl.