Fatal 'pedo hunt' in Arnhem: Prosecutors want up to 18 mos. in jail for 5 suspects
The public prosecution service (OM) asked a court on Wednesday to find five young people guilty in the fatal assault of a 73-year-old man in Arnhem last October. The man died as a result of a "pedo hunt", in which civilians lure a suspected pedophile to a location to assault them.
The 73-year-old man was severely beaten in Arnhem last October after he allegedly made an appointment to have sex with a minor. One of the suspects, a 15-year-old boy, was accused of persuading the man to show up. The man was badly beaten and rushed to hospital, where he died from an aneurysm.
The OM issued sentencing recommendations of up to eighteen months in prison against five defendants who were between the ages of 15 and 18 when the assault took place. The prosecutor said that the demand was difficult to determine. “On the one hand, there is the interest of the young suspect, who benefits from an intervention to prevent new criminal behavior, aimed at the future. On the other side is the seriousness of the facts and the societal importance; these kinds of extremes must be avoided,” the OM said in a statement.
”Three out of five would have actually pushed, hit or kicked the victim, even when the victim was already on the ground. The other two - boys aged 15 and 17 from Arnhem - would not have been hit, but the OM sees them as co-perpetrators,” the OM said in a statement.
The public prosecutor found manslaughter not proven, because it has not been sufficiently established whether and how hard the man’s head was kicked when the victim was already on the ground. That is why the suspects are being prosecuted for causing serious bodily harm resulting in death, Nu.nl reported.
The 17-year-old suspect from Arnhem is believed to be a ringleader involved in other pedo hunt assaults in Arnhem that month. Prosecutors want him to spend 15 months in juvenile detention, including five on conditional release, with two years of probation after.
The 18-year-old from Rozendaal was given the highest demand of 18 months including six in which he could be conditionally released, and two years of probation. The 17-year-old from the same city received a recommendation of one year in juvenile detention and six months probation. The 16-year-old from Arnhem was told he could spend six months in juvenile detention if he disobeys conditions, another 240 hours of community service, ad two years of probation.
The last suspect, a 15-year-old, convinced the victim to meet and lured him to Arnhem. The OM said he shot video of the incident, and was also charged with theft by force and weapons possession. His sentence demand was nine months of conditional juvenile detention, two years of probation, and 240 hours of community service.
Last year the Police urged against the practice of "pedo hunting" which has been on the rise since last July and called upon people to comply with the law.
"I don't know of a single example in my police unit that led to the conviction of a child molester. Our message to citizens is: Stop pedo hunting. Stop detaining. Stop provoking. Leave this to us.", police representatives said last year.