BERLIN (AP) — A court near Berlin on Tuesday convicted a 33-year-old German security guard of kidnapping, abusing and murdering two small boys — including a child refugee — and sentenced the man to life in prison.
The Potsdam regional court said Silvio S., whose surname wasn’t given due to German privacy rules, won’t automatically be up for release after 15 years because of the seriousness of his crime.
The disappearance of a 6-year-old German child named Elias from near his home in Potsdam last July prompted a massive police search. His body was only found after Silvio S. led them to it following his arrest.
Three months after Elias’ disappearance, a 4-year-old Bosnian boy called Mohamed was abducted from a central registration center for refugees in Berlin. Prosecutors said the defendant had sexually abused the boy before killing him.
Silvio S. was arrested after his mother recognized her son on surveillance video following Mohamed’s abduction and informed police.
Berlin’s top security official, Frank Henkel, welcomed the verdict, but said he had hoped the court would order stricter conditions on a possible future release. Prosecutors had asked that S. be classified as a serious risk to others and held in extended preventative detention beyond his prison term.
The defendant declined to answer questions about the crime during his trial, but apologized to the boys’ families for his actions at the end.