Dhe alleged murder of 14-year-old Ayleen A. from Gottenheim in southern Baden, probably committed by a 29-year-old, previously convicted sex offender from Hesse, has a number of special features. The alleged perpetrator committed his first crime shortly after he had reached the age of criminal responsibility himself, namely at the age of 14. After being convicted of attempted rape and aggravated assault, he spent more than half his life under state supervision by law enforcement agencies: he spent ten years in a correctional facility and was under supervision for a further five years. It is extremely rare for a 14-year-old youth to be housed in a psychiatric hospital, i.e. in a forensic prison, under Section 63 of the Criminal Code.
The chances were slim
According to juvenile criminal law, the additional order of preventive detention after the prison sentence has been served is not possible. After the observation of the criminal ended on January 25, 2022, and he was no longer under supervision, the responsible authorities had little opportunity to continue monitoring the man, who is said to have worked for a security service in Frankfurt. The decision as to whether supervision of conduct is to be terminated is made by the Chamber for the Execution of Sentences. In the case of young people, the district court is responsible for this; for adults, the regional court.
If the supervision of conduct is discontinued, this is recorded in a note; if it is to be extended, the chamber for the execution of sentences at the local or regional court must make a decision. Theoretically, it would have been possible for this offender, who had served his sentence, to prevent a recidivism by delimiting the period of supervision or by extending it for a further five years. However, the legal hurdles are high because it is a serious encroachment on fundamental rights. The offender should have been proven to have committed other serious crimes – shoplifting or a drug offense would not have been sufficient.
Internet activity monitoring?
The imposition of preventive detention after the supervision of conduct has expired and the sentence has been served is also linked to high legal hurdles: the subject would have to have committed at least two new offenses in order to be able to order preventive detention, which is sensitive to fundamental rights, in a court-proof manner. The alleged perpetrator was also looked after by the Hessian State Criminal Police Office and the Central Office for the Monitoring of Sex Offenders at Risk of Recidivism (ZÜRS). This means that the courts had largely exhausted the statutory measures to protect the population from recidivism by a serious sex offender.
Since the alleged perpetrator was apparently looking for new victims on the Internet a few days after the end of supervision, the question arises as to whether his activity on the Internet should not have been monitored when he was under supervision. This is also not trivial from a legal point of view: Although the person under supervision can be subject to conditions, they must be specific, because the violation of these conditions imposed by court order is treated as a criminal offense under Section 145a of the Criminal Code. If the conditions are too vague, the court risks having them lifted by the Higher Regional Court.