Client of 16-year-old prostitute kills self amidst criminal investigation

Amsterdam police
A police flex squad supporting crowd control in Amsterdam. Feb. 18, 2010Jos van ZettenFlickrCC-BY

A second suspect in the Valkenburg lover-boy case has committed suicide. Heis believed to be one of the 16 year old girl's customers. The Public Prosecutor would not give any information on the matter, NOS reports Another suspect in the case committed suicide early last month.

Late last year police caught a man having sex with a 16 year old girl in a hotel in Valkenburg, while her 21 year old (suspected) pimp sat on the toilet in the hotel room. The girl's parents had reported her missing some time before that. The police found a list of customers on the pimp's phone and dozens of used condoms in the trashcan. DNA investigations showed that no less than 80 men had sex with the girl.

After this second suicide a spokesperson for the Public Prosecutor stated on Radio1-Journaal that the suspects in this case are offered psychiatric help after being questioned, the Volkskrant reports. The spokesperson also emphasized that the suspects are not picked up at home and are only approached telephonically. This is despite an earlier comment from another spokesperson: “Many a marriage partner will be surprised by police at the door,” said a spokesperson for the prosecutor after this story first hit the news late in January. “The woman probably knows nothing. But, for us, sexual exploitation is more serious.”

Lawyer Ivo van de Bergh, who is defending 20 of the suspects, thinks it is easy to say afterwards that it was not the plan to pick the suspects up at home. "That men will be unmasked is a very great fear and caused unimaginable psychological pressure. It is too simplistic to say that you are not responsible for the suicides." He told the newspaper. According to the lawyer, the offered psychological help is a nice touch, but does not take away all the worries and uncertainty.