German Model Fined for False Rape Claims

     BERLIN (AP) — A German court fined a model 20,000 euros ($22,600) on Monday after finding her guilty of making false rape accusations in a high-profile trial that helped feed calls for tougher rape laws.
     The trial involved a 2012 incident in which Gina-Lisa Lohfink, a former contestant on a German television model casting show, had sex with two men. A video in which she could be heard saying “no, no, no,” ended up online.
     A court initially convicted the men over the video but cleared them of rape. It ordered Lohfink to pay 24,000 euros for making false accusations but she refused to pay — which, under German law, meant that that aspect of the case went to a new trial.
     A Berlin court ruled Monday that Lohfink knowingly made false statements, that the sex was consensual, and that her objections were to it being filmed, news agency dpa reported. Lohfink, who has given regular interviews to German media about the case, had said that she may have been drugged, but a court-appointed expert testified that he found no evidence of that.
     Defense lawyer Burkhard Benecken said that “the verdict is a scandal.” He said he would speak to Lohfink about a possible appeal.
     Last month, German lawmakers passed a bill that will make it easier for victims of sex crimes to file criminal complaints if they rejected their attacker’s advances with a clear “no.” Until now, German law required victims to show that they physically resisted attack before charges for rape and other sexual assaults could be brought.
     The move was partly spurred by a nationwide outcry over sexual assaults blamed largely on foreigners in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. But some cited the Lohfink case in noting that Germany lagged behind most Western nations in its definition of rape and that sexual assaults were a feature of German society before large numbers of migrants arrived last year.
     Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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