In the Wermelskirchen abuse complex, new brutal and disturbing details keep coming to light. FOCUS Online spoke to a father whose young sons were abused by one of the perpetrators for years.
When the Berlin police rang the doorbell in August 2021, Christian F. lost some of his trust in humanity. The officials soon got down to business: it was about the sexual abuse of his two young sons, according to the statement. And that was through her former babysitter Sönke G.. The suspect had looked after the children on six evenings four years earlier when F. and his wife wanted to go out. At the time, the boys were just one and two years old.
Before the IT expert could pull himself together every day in August, the next bad moment followed: the officers showed the father and his wife a photo of the suspect who was abused, on which the parents were supposed to identify their children. Thoughts raced through his head. Christian F. didn’t want to admit it. “I just couldn’t believe that our children had become victims of abuse and we never noticed anything,” he says today in retrospect to FOCUS Online.
The 44-year-old freelancer is sitting in a Cologne hotel with his lawyer Roman von Alvensleben and wants to talk. Reporting on all the agony his boys endured. With a composed voice, Christian F. describes how the perpetrator managed to gain the family’s trust through his nice manner via babysitter platforms or ebay classifieds.
A model with which Christian F.’s alleged “mentor” is said to have lured his victims. It was also Marcus R. from Wermelskirchen who is said to have incited his Berlin chat partner to new actions via live cam. In the meantime, it turned out that the accused from Bergisches Land is the key figure in one of the largest investigation complexes against pedophile criminals in this country.
Christian F. shakes his head at the thought of this monstrous crime. At least the tormentor of his children has now been sentenced. At the beginning of May, the 9th Criminal Court in Berlin imposed a twelve-year prison sentence on Sönke G., 28, followed by preventive detention. 26 boys fell victim to the accused, including Christian F’s two sons. “There is an abuse mafia on the Internet, and we just watch,” criticizes the father.
The native Franconian has racked his brains over and over again as to how he could have fallen for Sönke G. The latter had always played the sunny boy, seemed open-minded, communicative, brought along the best references, seemed committed and “confident, devoted to the children”. Of course, they had first examined the babysitter personally, had believed the story that he only wanted to relieve parents, had checked his Facebook profile, on which he was posing as an experienced caregiver. An online service where Sönke G. offered his services even boasted that they only work with certified babysitters. Family man Christian F. asks himself today, “What did they check there?”.
His lawyer from Alvensleben lists numerous failures by the authorities. Although Sönke G. had a number of previous convictions, Berlin district authorities placed the lighting technician “also at daycare centers.” He molested his protégés in three institutions. This was later determined by the Berlin district court in the criminal proceedings. “He even received letters of recommendation from the authorities,” von Alvensleben complained.
Neither youth welfare offices nor prosecutors cared when the delinquent was caught breaking into a day care center where he had stolen diapers. At the police station, he reported that he often looked after children, “but nowhere did the alarm bells ring,” the criminal defense lawyer from Hamelin complained. “Even in the process, nobody was interested in the failure of the municipal authorities.”
And so Sönke G. could continue to pursue his perverse tendencies. Above all, handicapped boys were brought to him through a non-profit limited company. The arrest only took place after an anonymous tip was received by the Berlin police in August 2021. The investigators discovered a veritable horror cabinet of abuse files on his computers. The trail also led to Wermelskirchen to his alleged mentor, who found a gigantic amount of abuse data of a good 30 terabytes, carefully arranged using virtual lists.
Christian F. knows at least two perpetrators are behind bars. So far, he has not been able to “find any particular psychological abnormalities in my sons that could be attributed to the attacks.” But who knows whether it will stay like this? The boys are now five and seven years old. Her father sometimes convinced himself that the whole thing was like tonsillectomy for his children, “which will eventually pass”.
But he will never forget the agonizing criminal trial when he looked into the eyes of the man who had abused his children. Anger, anger certainly – but hate? “I just tried to suppress such feelings,” says the father. Rather, he was annoyed that the accused had promised to clarify everything, but still left numerous questions unanswered.
Against this background, the software developer does not understand the concerns of data protection officers in this country about data retention. “Of course I don’t want all personal rights regarding data protection to be thrown overboard now, but without this possibility we lose many opportunities to unmask the pedo criminals on the Internet using IP addresses. That can’t be.” His lawyer from Alvensleben has a clear opinion in this context: “The exaggerated data protection in this country primarily protects child molesters on the Internet.”