met the videoThe Public Prosecutor’s Office has demanded a 240-hour community service order and one day in prison (90 days, of which 89 are conditional) against actor Thijs Römer for the online sexual abuse of three underage girls. According to the Public Ministry, he was also in possession of child pornography. In addition, he must undergo compulsory treatment.
Mark den Blanken, Maxime Seger
The Public Ministry effectively opts for one day in prison because it is not allowed to impose only community service for this type of crime: that is why judges usually opt for one day in prison plus community service. In this case, therefore, it is about the maximum community service and 90 days in prison, of which 89 days are conditional.
The 44-year-old actor is suspected of committing online sex crimes between 2015 and 2017 with three girls who were minors at the time. Römer himself was present in the Assen court on Tuesday, where he admitted to having crossed a border. He didn’t use the last word. The court will decide on August 8 at 1 pm
Public prosecutor Henk Mous called the girls’ statement “consistent, reliable and unequivocal”. “They don’t get bigger than they are. The fact that the statements were made seven years later means nothing at all. Certainly, in cases of sex, the victims realize later what they have experienced.”
Application groups with girls.
According to the prosecutor, 21-year-old Nena from Eelderwolde in Drenthe, who started the case via a message on Twitter, saw Römer as a father figure with whom she later fell in love. Application groups grew out of that band. Römer was in it with 14 and 15 year old girls. The girls received their number 06 and were not allowed to share it. That made them feel special. Once trust was built, Römer moved on to sexually charged conversations, according to Mous.
One of the alleged victims claimed to have been forced to send photos, videos and voice messages to the actor on Tuesday morning. Römer denied that there had been any coercion. He also said no sexually suggestive photos, videos or voice messages were taken or exchanged. The actor, who at the time was famous for his leading role in the hit series killer womanHe said he didn’t turn down requests to participate in app groups, because he had learned from his ex-wife Katja Schuurman that it’s best to honor fan requests. He didn’t want them to think that he was an “arrogant asshole”.
“You can have conversations about masturbating, right?”
In the app group, it was often about sex and sexually tinged topics, the judge said. Römer agreed that he “underestimated” the consequences of the talks. “I overlooked that it was big for her and it didn’t mean a lot to me,” Römer said. The actor stated that he did not know at the time that he may have done anything criminal. “You can have a conversation about masturbating, right? Like, here’s the clit, there’s the fingers. That. It is not heavier.
I said delete because I didn’t want it to be made public
The actor did ask the girls to delete the conversations, according to the judge’s question. “I’m quite a well-known person, so it’s not so nice if you go out in public,” Römer said. “Didn’t you think, ‘This should be erased,’ because you knew I was actually going too far?” the prosecutor asked. “No, I said delete because I didn’t want it to come to light,” Römer repeated.
He also referred to the Metoo movement. “I think when #MeToo started, every more or less public person was wondering: Did something happen in my past? Did something happen that wasn’t right? Maybe not criminal, but not morally correct, that could come back to me. Me too. But I never decided on these girls and these events. At that time I had absolutely no feeling that I was doing anything criminal.”
The girls were between 14 and 16 years old at the time of the events. Römer was then 30 years old. Now I think I have crossed a border. She was 14 years old, I was much older and also a well-known actor,” Römer said in court about contact with one of the three alleged victims. Römer previously told the police that she thought she had not crossed any borders.
‘It shouldn’t have happened’
,, All that application should not have happened at all. I should have cut off private contact immediately,” Römer said. “I should have said right away that I was fine signing an autograph or meeting in a public place.” The actor admitted that there has been talk of “sexuality, masturbation”.
Ordinary subjects would quickly bore Römer, the prosecutor argued in his argument for sentencing. Then he quickly turned it into sexual themes. According to Mous, he had a special preference for fingering. In it, the actor abused the balance of power in relation to the fans. He would have pressured Nena to send him nude photos. If he didn’t, he ignored her for a few days.
You took advantage of me, Thijs. and you know that very well
Two of the three women who filed a complaint against Thijs Römer were present at the Assen court on Tuesday. Nena was in the living room, the other woman was in the victim’s room. The third alleged victim had chosen not to be present.
Because Nena was sitting directly behind Römer in the room, she had asked the actor to turn to her as she read her victim impact statement. The 44-year-old actor responded to that. It was also the first moment that the rest of the room could look at Römer’s face.
The young woman said, among other things, that Römer had sent her a message seven years ago the night she went to a party for children between the ages of 12 and 16. “Come home safe and sound, you are still a girl,” she is said to have written. Messages like these made the woman, who said she had a bad situation at home, see Römer as a father figure and also fall in love with him.
He also sent sexual messages, the woman said. ,,’Do you ever touch your fingers?’, you asked me. And in case you didn’t know: she was 14 years old! You took advantage of me, Thijs. And you know it very well. My sexuality has been shaped by you. I thought it was normal to send photos and videos.” At the judge’s request, Römer responded to the account. “I am so sorry that she is so upset and in pain.”
messages with sexual overtones
The lawyer Maartje Schaap read the statement of one of the other three alleged victims. He also says that she frequently received sexually tinged messages, penis photos and videos from Römer when he was a minor. “She went from smutty pubescent chat to sexting, nude pics, dick pics,” she said. She “craved love” and “was unable to see where my limits were.” To this day, she says that she can’t open up to men. The third victim wanted to testify behind closed doors.
The three victims also ask for financial compensation. Two women ask for 4,000 euros and one more for 5,500 euros. A woman from Rijsbergen, now 23 years old, also claims reimbursement for psychotherapeutic help and travel expenses.
The prosecutor called the three girls’ claims for damages “totally reasonable” during the hearing. “They’re really meant to offset the psychological damage.” He also indicated that he had no idea they were after money.
‘Work has dried up, I’ve been cut from movies’
Römer himself indicates that the impact of this case on his personal and working life is great. For example, he’s been cut from the movies and his family is struggling too. He emphasizes that he doesn’t want to look like a victim. But, he says, his professional life and therefore his source of income has all but dried up. His performance has stopped. The prosecutor, however, believes that this does not play a role. “In any case, no more than any other suspect, like a teacher getting fired or a plumber getting fewer jobs.”
Compulsory treatment in forensic mental health care
Thijs Römer is forced to undergo treatment at De Waag, a forensic mental health care facility. That was one of the demands of the Public Ministry. The actor agreed to undergo treatment. During the hearing he revealed that he has recently been speaking with a psychologist, something he previously denied. De Waag offers specialized care to people who combine transgressive or criminal behavior with a psychological disorder. Römer’s psychologist had stated that he has a tendency to turn pain and grief into “actions of sexual comfort”.
Römer was discredited last year when Nena, 21, accused him of sexually offending conduct on Twitter when she was 14. The actor denied those accusations. “The story of a then 14-year-old girl with whom he would have had cross-border contact, as a father of a teenage daughter and a sane person, is a bridge too far for me,” the actor wrote on Twitter. The woman later said that she was sorry for sharing her accusations on Twitter, but she did not take it back. She is one of three women who sued the actor.
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