A man in Germany who abused two young children, including his own granddaughter, was quietly convicted “as a woman” during his trial this year and has likely been sent to a women’s prison, according to German women’s rights advocates.
Known only by his first name and last initial due to strict privacy laws, Klaus T., 63, appeared in court for the first time in April on charges of sexually abusing two girls — aged 9 and 10. The 9-year-old was his own granddaughter, while the latter was a child who lived in his apartment complex.
The abuse first came to light after the 9-year-old confided in her mother, Klaus T.’s daughter, about having been molested by the man during an overnight visit which took place in December 2021. The girl told her mother that “grandpa went to bed with me” and explained that it had “hurt.” The child also told her mother that before the visit ended, Klaus T. had told her to keep what had happened a secret.
“If you say something, I’ll go to prison,” Klaus T. is reported as having said.
Following the girl’s admission, her mother went to police and filed a criminal complaint.
Law enforcement officials conducted a search of Klaus T.’s Berlin apartment shortly after, and found numerous pieces of child sexual abuse material during their investigation. Some were of his 9-year-old granddaughter, but others were of a 10-year-old child later identified as a girl who lived in the same apartment building.
The 10-year-old’s parents had been friends of Klaus T.’s, and had often trusted him with supervising the girl after school as he was considered a trusted adult in the building. Intimate recordings of the girl had been taken around November of 2021.
German media reported that Klaus T. had been “living as a woman” for years prior to abusing his granddaughter, but that the girl still knew him as “grandpa.”
He had also never changed the name or gender on his identification documents, but the court still referred to him by his preferred name of “Klaudia” and used feminine pronouns for him. During the trial, it became known that Klaus T. also frequented pornography cinemas.
Klaus T. was sentenced to 5 years in prison in May, and, according to German media outlet BZ, he was “convicted as a woman.”
Speaking to Reduxx, Roxie Roots says Klaus T. “definitely” went to a women’s prison based on his self-identification alone due to recent regional reforms in Berlin. Roots, a survivor of the sex trade, has become a vocal women’s rights advocate in Germany, with a particular focus on laws that impact women’s safety.
Roots explained that in September of 2021, Berlin’s House of Representatives announced major reforms targeted at regional prisons, including that males who identified as female could be placed in women’s prisons even if they had not changed their legal gender or name, such as in the case of Klaus T.
“[The Berlin Government] claimed it would be case-by-case, but if they addressed him as a woman in court, he would be ending up in a women’s prison.” Roots says.
“Like in so other countries, many women in prison in Germany are there for [non-violent crimes]. They will also have a background of sexual violence, which is why I think it is devastating to place men in women’s prisons.”
Roots says that German media has been burying stories where the criminal was identified as transgender, or releasing select details so as not to provide any clarity on the suspect’s actual sex.
“In every country it’s the same — no coverage, or vague local news stories that are ignored by [larger] outlets. [German women] have to really scan the internet to find them. And the way they’re worded now, they don’t clearly tell readers that it’s a man.”
In May, a trans-identified male was arrested after brutally murdering a female patient while housed in the women’s ward of a psychiatric facility in Haar, Germany. But in initial media reports of the horrific crime, the man was referred to either as a “woman,” or neutrally as a “patient.” It wasn’t until Stephan Beer, head of the homicide division for the police force, described the suspect as “male in terms of sex, [and] female in [gender] appearance” that the suspect’s transgender identity became known.
“As much as [the media] is trying to hide the truth from us, this isn’t the first case we’ve seen, and it won’t be the last,” Roots says, adding that women are having to independently record these cases to circulate facts on them in an absence of official data.
German lawmakers are currently considering a proposed self-identification policy which would allow anyone aged 14 years old and older to change their legal sex by filling out a simple form, and allow individuals to make changes to their documents once per year.
The Self-Determination Act also states a fine can be issued if a person’s gender or name change is disclosed without their permission.
A recent survey of German citizens conducted by YouGov for the Welt am Sonntag newspaper showed that 46% of respondents were in favor of the proposed legislation, and 41% opposed it.
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