Police in Cologne arrested six men – five of them refugees – for a suspected sex attack on a 12-year-old girl at a city swimming pool.
Officers said the girl approached a lifeguard at the pool in the Zündorf district of the city at 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon claiming she was indecently touched by a man near the water slide.
The girl claimed the man and his friends caused a ‘traffic jam’ on the slide where he then took the opportunity to grope at her bikini top and bottom.
Police say the girl complained she was groped by a man while using a waterslide at a pool in Cologne.
The pool staff immediately called police and comforted the girl who was said to be extremely distraught. The men aged between 17 and 45 were arrested but later freed. They are reported to be from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
Five are asylum seekers housed outside of Cologne while they wait for their residency claims to be processed. The nationality and status of the sixth man was not immediately clear.
The public prosecutor’s office in the city has appealed for witnesses, especially to confirm whether other children were abused.
Local conservative CDU party district chairman Walter Reinarz condemned the alleged attack stating: ‘We promise our full support for the young girl and her parents. It is good that the perpetrators were immediately arrested by police.
‘This shows that our security systems work. We expect the Cologne justice system to work quickly so that the perpetrators can be lastingly held accountable and deported quickly. ‘
He said measures were being drawn up to prevent such attacks in the future.
Public baths have been the setting for several sexual assaults in recent months, ranging from the savage rape of a 10-year-old boy at a pool in Austria to groping and molestation at several places in Germany.
Recently, a Waterpark in Norderstedt near Hamburg tightened its security measures after a 14-year old was allegedly raped there by two immigrants. This included banning men from using the water slide when women and children were present.
Asylum seekers across Germany are being warned through the use of graphic charts to respect women and girls when bathing, being informed that skimpy swimwear is in no way an invitation for sexual approaches.