Teen Sex Trial Small Victory, but Long Wait for German in Turkish Jail
The German teenager accused of sexually assaulting an underage British girl while on vacation in Turkey celebrated a small victory in court this week, but Marco Weiss' lawyer says the 17-year-old will have to get ready for a long trial.
Marco Weiss of Germany: Headed for a longer wait behind bars
"I don't think the issue is ready for a decision," said Nikolaus Walther. "Not even in a month."
Walther said that he hoped Weiss would nevertheless be freed following testimony by Turkish doctor Levent Hekim on Tuesday. The doctor, who performed a medical check on the British girl immediately after she saw Weiss, said that while there had clearly been sexual contact, there was no proof she had been raped. Weiss maintains that the girl initiated physical contact after the two and others landed in her hotel room following a night out during his Easter vacation.
"Serious criminal suspicion is necessary in order to justify an arrest, even according to Turkish law," Walther said.
He was arrested a few hours after leaving her and charged with sexual assualt. Walther said the last four months have taken their toll on Weiss.
Not getting released, "has affected Marco greatly. He's no longer the same," said Walther. "It's important that we get him out of jail as quickly as possible."
Following the second day of deliberations on Wednesday, the judge on the sexual assault trial put it on recess until Sept. 6.
Weiss claims his innocence, saying that the intimate moments he had with the British girl were consensual and that he thought she was two years older.
The girls family, however, allege that their daughter was the victim of a sex crime. An attorney for the British family has pushed for rape charges that could carry a sentence of up to 15 years.
If convicted on lesser charges, however, Weiss could face up to five years in prison.