A 47-year-old asylum seeker in the Germany city of Augsburg in Bavaria has received a suspended sentence of 15 months imprisonment for the sexual abuse of several children, some as young as five.
The unnamed asylum seeker, originally from Afghanistan, is said to have abused several children in the asylum home he lived in over the period of a year. The man, found guilty of sexual abuse and bodily harm, is said to have used the opportunity of living in a shared accommodation to molest the children, local newspaper Augburger Allgemeine reports.
The judge in the case, Stefan Lenzenhuber, changed the sentence to a suspended sentence meaning that the asylum seeker will not face any actual prison time.
The victims of the 47-year-old Afghan included three young boys aged five to six years old according to prosecutors.
The case is not the first in Bavaria in which children have been abused in asylum homes. In June, a 41-year-old man, also from Afghanistan, stabbed a five-year-old boy to death and was later shot by police when they arrived on the scene.
According to reports, the man was forced to wear an ankle monitor because he had already been convicted of attempting to kill his then-wife and cousin by burning down their home.
The crime also ignited debate in Germany after it was revealed that the man had not been deported because he had converted to Christianity and claimed that he would be killed in his native Afghanistan for the crime of leaving Islam.
Sexual abuse of minors perpetrated by asylum seekers has occurred in several other asylum homes in Germany and other European countries.
In Herford, Germany, earlier this year, local authorities were accused of covering up sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl by a man from Ghana. The girl was said to have been so brutally attacked she had to be hospitalised.
In some cases, the sexual abuse in asylum homes does not come from other migrants, but from staff and volunteers. In Denmark two women, aged 52 and 36, are accused of sexually abusing 17-year-old boys and face up to four years in prison.
In Sweden last year, a similar case occurred in which the female head of an asylum home tried to convince two underage migrants to have sexual relations with her through a combination of promises and threats including saying that if they did not have sex with her she would have them deported.