Christian B. : “Maddie Suspect on Trial: Germany’s Separate Sex Crime Charges”

Berlin: The prime suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann almost 17 years ago will stand trial in Germany on Friday on five unrelated charges of rape and child sex abuse.

The suspect, a 47-year-old man identified as Christian B. by German media, was first named a suspect in June 2020, bringing a major breakthrough to the long-unsolved case. However, German prosecutors have yet to charge him in connection with Madeleine’s disappearance. Instead, he faces charges for other crimes allegedly committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

The charges against Christian B. came to light as a result of the investigations into Madeleine’s case, according to Christian Wolters, a spokesperson for the prosecution in Brunswick. He stated, “Without the investigation into Maddie’s case, these alleged crimes would not have come to light.”

Christian B. is currently serving time in Germany for raping a 72-year-old American tourist in 2005 in Praia da Luz, the same Portuguese resort where Madeleine went missing two years later. If found guilty on all charges, he could face a sentence of five to 15 years.

The trial is expected to last around four months, with a total of 29 hearings. Three-year-old Madeleine disappeared from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal’s Algarve region in May 2007, while her parents were dining at a nearby tapas bar.

Despite a massive international manhunt and extensive media coverage, no trace of Madeleine has ever been found, and no one has been charged in connection with her disappearance. The identification of Christian B. as a suspect four years ago brought hope to Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, but the case has since faced numerous challenges and no major breakthroughs.

The trial will focus on five alleged crimes committed by Christian B., including two child sex offenses and three rapes. The evidence presented will include witness statements and notebooks seized from Christian B., which reportedly contain his sexual fantasies.

Christian B.’s lawyer, Friedrich Fuelscher, has stated that his client intends to remain silent during his defense but emphasized that this does not mean he has anything to hide. Fuelscher believes that the prosecution is on shaky ground with regards to all the charges and is confident that Christian B. will be acquitted if given a fair trial.

The trial is expected to face difficulties in ensuring a fair trial due to the unprecedented media coverage and prejudgment of the accused.

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