Europe

Gina-Lisa Lohfink: German model fined for false rape claim

Gina-Lisa Lohfink arrives at the court in Berlin, Germany, June 27, 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Supporters of Gina-Lisa Lohfink gathered outside the court at an earlier hearing

German model Gina-Lisa Lohfink has been convicted of making false rape allegations against two men in a case that has sparked debate across Germany.

She was fined €20,000 (£17,200; $22,600) by a court in Berlin.

A video showing Lohfink having sex with the two men in 2012 and saying "No" found its way on to the internet. She insists the incident was rape.

But at a subsequent trial the two men were cleared of rape and Lohfink was accused of making false testimony.

Lohfink is a former competitor on reality TV show Germany's Next Top Model, and the high-profile case partly informed a recent change to Germany's rape laws.

A new law was passed in July clarifying that "no means no" even if the victim did not fight back.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Lohfink is known for her appearance on TV show Germany's Next Top Model

Prosecutor Corinna Goegge said: "Ms Lohfink was not a victim of a sexual offence.

"She lied and deliberately misled investigators."

The court found that the sex was consensual but that Lohfink was saying "No" to it being filmed.

But Lohfink has continued to insist that she was raped.

"I'm not here to become famous," she told the court.

"I didn't want the sex, nor the filming," she said in her final testimony, according to Tagesspiegel.

After the verdict was read out, she cried, "I don't need to put myself through this" before storming out of the courtroom.

Lohfink's defence lawyer described the verdict as "a scandal".

Burkhard Benecken said he would discuss with her whether she had the strength for an appeal.

He was now concerned for all women who wanted to report a rape, he said.

One of the two men involved in the case pleaded guilty to a charge related to distributing videos showing the sex act.

The case has been extensively covered throughout the German media.

Tabloid Bild reported the verdict as "a bitter setback" for Lohfink, and said the verdict was greeted with boos from the public gallery.

Die Zeit said that Monday's trial showed "how disrespectfully we treat people, when it comes to the accusation of rape". The case will stigmatise all parties in the long run, the paper said.

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