A 45-year-old Iraqi man seeking asylum in Europe who allegedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy 68 times is defending his attacks by claiming that he and his victim were in a consensual "love affair," reports Express.
The accused, only known as Majed R, allegedly carried out the disturbing abuse of the child over the course of months in Spandau, an asylum center located in a borough of the German capital of Berlin, starting in January of 2016.
The man's victim is said to be from Iraq, as well.
"It is reported Majed, a car mechanic in his home country, forced the boy, named only as Sam in proceedings, to come to his room for sex, locking him inside every time," notes Express. "When Sam refused to take part, Majed R allegedly threatened to burn and kill him."
The abuse was uncovered when the family took note of how much time their young son was spending with Majed; they took their concern to a local social worker in July. The boy reportedly opened up about the abuse to the worker.
Majed initially denied all accusations against him, that is, until investigators uncovered a video of the abuse on a mobile phone. The asylum seeker's defense then changed: Majed said the two were in "a love affair" and that the sexual acts were consensual.
The case is currently being tried at a Berlin court.
"If the allegations are correct, you should also acknowledge them in your own interest," said the presiding judge, on Tuesday.
On top of the trauma from the sexual abuse itself, the 12-year-old is also being targeted and harassed by his own family: As noted by Express, "even other members of his own family have hounded him, telling him he has brought 'great shame on the family' as a result of the alleged abuse."
The young boy's lawyer says the boy and his immediate family have been relocated a number of times due to such harassment.