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Rape convictions plunge in Germany

AFP-JIJI

Rape victims in Germany are finding it increasingly difficult to see their assailants convicted, a national study released Thursday showed.

Twenty years ago, the percentage of sexual violence cases leading to a guilty verdict and sentencing stood at about 1 in 5. But by 2012, the ratio had tumbled to 1 in 12, according to the study by the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony.

Case overloads in the criminal justice system, a rise in reported rapes within families and a federal court ruling that set a much higher standard of proof have made it harder for victims to put their attackers behind bars. The institute found that the authorities were often overwhelmed with accusations of sex crimes.