Sex offenders should have tougher punishment

Defense lawyer Lorenz Hünnemeyer on the debate about tougher sanctions
Higher penalties do not deter sex offenders

tk. Buxtehude. "A higher sentence does not prevent a perpetrator from doing what he or she does," says Lorenz Hünnemeyer. A perpetrator, and this also applies to sexual offenses, assume that he will remain undetected. The defense lawyer from Buxtehude therefore does not consider it expedient to tighten laws that punish child abuse. This demand was made loud in politics, including by the CDU Presidium. Background: A well-organized network of child molesters has recently been exposed in Münster. Seven suspects are in custody. The three so far known victims are between five and twelve years old.

When children are affected as members of society who are particularly worthy of protection, "then the people's voice quickly calls for harsher punishments," says Hünnemneyer. The lawyer criticizes that politicians jump on this bandwagon without reflection. "Get something out quickly before someone else is ten minutes faster on Twitter," he comments.

Hünnemeyer knows both sides

As a lawyer, Lorenz Hünnemeyer represents both sex offenders and victims when he is the plaintiff. So he knows both sides. Just as a perpetrator does not expect to be caught, a drive-controlled perpetrator will not allow tougher sanctions to dissuade him from his actions, said Hünnemeyer. If the psyche and instinct control fail, it is often a question of how another act can be prevented. "Then psychiatry and medicine are often more required than the criminal justice system," says the lawyer. In the end - if neither judgments nor therapies help - "certain perpetrators have to be filtered out in order to protect society," said Hünnemeyer. What exactly means preventive detention - and there is no time limit.

"The court must be convinced of their guilt"

"Crimes must never be tolerated and violence is unacceptable," says the lawyer. If sexual self-determination is violated in any way, "it is important to intervene". However, if you follow this principle, tougher and harsher laws do not necessarily mean that sex offenders will receive longer sentences. "The court must also be convinced of your guilt," said the lawyer. That is a point that is often overlooked in an excited discussion.

However, he made this clear to his clients, including victims of sex offenders, in the run-up to a trial: going to court does not automatically mean a punishment for the perpetrator. "Only at the end of criminal proceedings can a victim say whether it went well and perhaps better deal with the consequences of an act."

Trial for the victims heavy burden

At this point, and this is very important to the defense lawyer, it must also be considered that a trial can be an extremely heavy burden for the victims of any form of violence. "These people have to go through everything all over again." A higher prison sentence for the perpetrator does not make it easier for his victim. "The real processing of traumatic experiences only begins after the end of a negotiation."

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