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Home Tourist Attraction American admits rape, murder of US tourist at German castle – DW – 02/20/2024

American admits rape, murder of US tourist at German castle – DW – 02/20/2024

by Staff

The trial of a US man accused of murder and rape near Germany‘s famed Neuschwanstein Castle began on Monday.

The man admitted to the charges during the start of his trial.

The 31-year-old is accused of having pushed two fellow US tourists into a ravine close to the popular tourist attraction in the southern state of Bavaria last June. One of the women died as a result of her injuries.

Defense lawyer Philip Müller said his client was “deeply ashamed” about his actions and wished to apologize to the victim’s family.

What we know about the attack

The women, aged 21 and 22, had been hiking on June 14, 2023, during a visit to Germany following graduation from university. 

Having approached and then persuaded the women to follow him down a trail to a lookout point near the Marienbrücke bridge, the defendant allegedly shoved the younger woman to the ground and proceeded to undress her. When the 22-year-old woman intervened, he is said to have pushed her down a slope.

German prosecutors suspect the man then strangled the younger woman until she was unconscious before raping her and also throwing her down the slope.

The 22-year-old suffered serious injuries but survived. The younger woman was air-lifted to hospital by mountain rescue but later died from her injuries.

German police arrest US tourist over Neuschwanstein death

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The man is charged with murder, rape resulting in death, attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and possession of child pornography, after files were allegedly found on his phone and computer.

The trial is taking place over six days at a district court in the town of Kempten. A verdict is expected in mid-March.

Neuschwanstein castle is one of the most most popular tourist sites in Germany, attracting around 1.5 million visitors a year.

Editor’s note: DW follows the German press code, which stresses the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and obliges us to refrain from revealing full names in such cases.

sdi, kb/lo (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

While you’re here: Every Tuesday, DW editors round up what is happening in German politics and society. You can sign up here for the weekly email newsletter Berlin Briefing.

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