A photographer is said to have sexually abused several child photo models. The prosecution calls his defense a “result of a highly unfair and suggestive investigation”.

A trial against a photographer has begun in Cologne because of allegations of sexual or serious sexual abuse of child photo models.

The public prosecutor’s office also accused the man of possession of child pornography in their indictment on Tuesday. The defendant initially remained silent on the allegations. A defense attorney in an opening statement bemoaned the biased police investigation into the case.

Specifically, the public prosecutor accused the photographer of fourfold sexual abuse and twelvefold serious sexual abuse to the detriment of six boys under the age of 14. The alleged victims were all working as child photo models for the man. During the deeds, they were partly asleep and were therefore unable to resist.

He is said to have abused his position

Between the spring of 1999 and the summer of 2017 or 2018, according to the indictment, the acts of abuse are said to have taken place in Cologne, among other places, and on trips abroad – including to the Mediterranean region or the USA. According to the indictment, the man is said to have lived with some of the mothers of the alleged victims in “family-like groups”. He took advantage of his role.

During a house search in June 2021, a child pornographic recording was also secured on cloud storage of the accused, the prosecutor said.

The man’s defense attorney said in his opening statement that the investigation was “manipulated and corrupted” by statements from mothers of former child photo models who had “rebuffed” their affection to the accused, as well as former employees who left in the dispute. “The court will have a lot of work to do in the next few days of the hearing,” he said. Even before the trial began, the defense had said when asked that they were “optimistic” that they could “bring the true facts closer to the court”.

Dates for the trial before the 10th Greater Criminal Chamber were set at the Cologne district court until the end of September. The presumption of innocence applies until a final conviction.