American man admits rape and murder of US tourist near German castle

19 February 2024, 11:34

Germany US Tourists Killed
Germany US Tourists Killed. Picture: PA

The 31-year-old is charged with murder, rape with fatal consequences, attempted murder and possession of child pornography.

An American man on Monday admitted to charges of murder and rape after he allegedly pushed two US women down a ravine, fatally injuring one of them near Germany’s Neuschwanstein castle last year.

The 31-year-old defendant admitted the charges during the start of his trial, the German news agency dpa reported. Defendants in the German legal system do not formally enter pleas to charges.

“The defendant has committed an unfathomable crime,” defence lawyer Philip Mueller said in a statement.

The defendant, whose name has not been released in line with German privacy rules, confirmed that his lawyer’s statement was correct but did not answer any questions.

The Marienbruecke bridge over the Poellat Gorge in Bavaria (Alamy/PA)

The defendant is charged with murder, rape with fatal consequences, attempted murder and possession of child pornography. Murder charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison in Germany.

The attack happened on June 14 last year near the Marienbruecke, a bridge over a gorge close to the castle that offers a view of Neuschwanstein, one of Germany’s most famous tourist attractions.

Prosecutors say the defendant met by chance the two female tourists, aged 21 and 22, on a hiking path and lured them off the trail. They said in a statement that he apparently first forced the younger woman to the ground and tried to undress her.

When the elder woman tried to help her, a scuffle ensued and the suspect allegedly pushed her down a steep slope. She fell about 50 metres (165 feet) and sustained a head injury, bruises and grazes but survived.

The suspect then allegedly strangled the younger woman until she was unconscious and raped her, prosecutors said, before pushing her down the slope as well. She died.

Prosecutors said they secured a laptop and mobile phones from the suspect containing child sexual abuse material.

Authorities say the women did not know the man before they met near Neuschwanstein. The suspect was arrested shortly after the attack.

A verdict is expected to be announced in mid-March at the earliest.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Pointe performance

Ballerinas set world record at New York’s Plaza Hotel

OJ Simpson in 1994

OJ Simpson has been cremated, says lawyer handling his estate

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group in Tel Aviv, Israel

Netanyahu brushes off calls for restraint in response to Iran’s attack

A Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner

Boeing faces Senate scrutiny during back-to-back hearings on safety culture

Peel Police Deputy Chief Nick Milinovich speaks to the media at a news conference regarding an investigation into the theft of gold from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, in Brampton, Ontario,

Nine people facing charges over ‘largest gold heist in Canadian history’

Karol G during the 24th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Seville, Spain, in 2023

2024 Latin Grammys will return home to Miami after controversial move to Spain

La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy

Milan’s La Scala names new director of opera house after months of controversy

Russian soldiers take part in a military exercise in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

17 killed as Russian missiles slam into Ukrainian city

TOWIE stars Joey Essex and Mark Argent have been left stranded in Dubai

TOWIE stars Joey Essex and James Argent stranded in Dubai flash floods as they try to hitchhike in ankle-deep water

Malmo Arena

Protests and terror threat mean tight security at Eurovision Song Contest

A protester uses a loudhailer during a rally in Athens

Unions in Greece call widespread strikes, seeking return of bargaining rights

Some have claimed cloud seeding may be behind recent flooding in Dubai.

Did controversial ‘cloud seeding’ flights cause torrential downpours and huge flooding in Dubai?

A homeless person sleeps near the Eiffel Tower

French police evict hundreds from abandoned Paris warehouse ahead of Olympics

People wade through floodwater in Peshawar

Death toll from four days of rain in Pakistan rises to 63

A Solomon Islander casts his vote

Solomon Islanders vote in election that will shape relations with China

A voter casts her ballot at a polling station in Zagreb

Croatia votes in election showdown between president and prime minister