Actor Thijs Romer admits to "crossing a line" with three underage girls; OM demands community service
The Public Prosecution Service demanded 240 hours of community service sentence against actor Thijs Römer on Tuesday. The 44-year-old actor is accused of committing online sexual offenses with three underage girls between 2015 and 2017. In addition, the prosecutor also demanded a 90-day prison sentence, 89 days of which are suspended with a probation period of one year. Römer was present in the Assen court on Tuesday, where he admitted to having "crossed a line."
Römer does not have to go to prison for that one day because of the days he was interrogated. The prosecutor also demanded that Römer must undergo compulsory treatment at De Waag, the largest mental health care institution in the Netherlands. During the hearing, it was revealed that Römer had recently been in discussions with a psychologist, something he had previously denied.
The prosecutor believes the actor seduced the three victims, aged 14 to 16, into indecent acts. He sent nude photos to the victims via chats on social media. The victims also sent nude photos and videos to Römer. He is therefore also charged with possession of child pornography.
Thijs Romer admitted during the hearing that he went too far. “I now think that I have crossed a line. She was 14, I was much older, and also a well-known actor,” Romer said about his contact with one of the three alleged victims. He did “not have a good eye for that.” Romer previously told the police he did not think he crossed a line.
“The whole texting should not have happened at all. I should have cut off the private contact immediately,” Romer said. “I should have said right away that I was fine signing an autograph or meeting in a public space.” The actor admitted to discussing “sexuality, masturbation” with the girl.
One of the alleged victims said on Tuesday morning that the actor forced her to send him photos, videos, and voice messages. Romer denies that there was coercion in the contact. He also said that no sexually suggestive photos, videos, or voice messages were taken or exchanged.
Two of the three young women who pressed charges against Römer attended the hearing in Assen. Both wish to exercise their right to speak, one in the open court, the other behind closed doors. The statement of the third victim was read out by her lawyer.
Romer had asked in advance that no images or sound recordings be made of him. Otherwise, he could not speak freely, he said. The court agreed. He told the court that the case had profoundly affected both his personal and professional life. He indicated that he has been without work for a whole year, and his source of income has almost completely dried up.
One of the three victims contacted the online program BOOS last year to tell her story. Maker Tim Hofman confirmed that on X, formerly Twitter. The editors did not respond to the messages because, at the time, BOOS was getting thousands of responses to the broadcast about sexual misconduct at The Voice of Holland.
At the time, Römer refuted the allegations, warning of a potential counter-lawsuit for defamation and libel. In a response on Twitter, Römer also said that the stories, "as a father of a teenage daughter and a reasonable person, went a bridge too far for him."
In November, the Public Prosecution Office announced that it would be prosecuting the actor.
Reporting by ANP