What should be considered in an advertisement??
What consequences can it have if someone is reported to the police, the public prosecutor, the school administration or the youth welfare office on suspicion of child sexual abuse? For example, there is the risk of being displayed for defamation or libel?
An ad to the law enforcement agencies (police, prosecutors) is unproblematic – unless it is lied to or suspected of without any factual evidence.
It is different with ads, for example, the school administration or the youth welfare office. Here it depends on whether the display uses the security.
The criminal liability of slander, slander and false suspicion
Because of libel in accordance with § 186 StGB one can make a punishable offense, if one asserts or disseminates disparaging facts about another or another to third parties, which are suitable for downgrading this or that in the public opinion, if these facts are not demonstrably true.
If this happens even against better knowledge, this is punishable as slander according to § 187 StGB.
Anyone who suspects another or another against the police or prosecutor better knowledge of an unlawful act with the intention of bringing an investigation or criminal proceedings against him or him, can make himself punishable for false suspicion under § 164 StGB.
Ad must be based on actual evidence
Anyone filing a criminal complaint with law enforcement authorities must, if lawful, assume that the alleged offense was actually committed and based on concrete facts. But it is sufficient that there are indications of suspicion that the ad is not without any foundation. If the deed turns out to be unproven then the ad is still justified.
Advertisements are justified even if the advertiser is not sure of his / her case, but has justified cause for an explanation by the police.
It is precisely not a requirement for a lawful display to the law enforcement agencies that the person who is the ad is affected by the fact.
Notification to school management or youth welfare office in case of endangerment of the child’s health
The communication of a suspicion of sexual abuse of other persons – for example, a school board or the youth welfare office – can be punishable as a libel, depending on the case, if the alleged fact is not demonstrably true.
However, if the communication is an effective means of avoiding a risk to the child’s well-being, it may be justified as a legitimate interest if, after a consideration, the pursued interest takes precedence over the interest of the accused person.
This may be the case in a communication to the school management, even if the act accused of the accused teacher or the accused teacher is at the same time a breach of duty.
Attempt of intimidation by suspected persons
In practice, individuals who have been charged with suspicion of sexual abuse can file a complaint of indictment, slander or false suspicion against the person (s) who filed the complaint or file a civil injunction.
However, this should not deter people who learn of concrete suspected cases. An ad to law enforcement is always legal – except in the case of misrepresentation or suspicion “into the blue”.
In these cases, the Public Prosecutor’s Office usually adjudicates suspending the trial for false suspicion until the criminal proceedings have been closed because of the alleged act.
Victims of sexual abuse have possibility of co-plaintiff
Active participation in criminal proceedings also makes it possible to defend against blame; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language: DE; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA ‘>- so-called victim lawyers.
Information on the rights of victims of criminal offenses can be found here.
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