Austrian police investigate 5yo ‘sex offender’

© Michaela Rehle
A preschooler in the northern Austrian city of Linz has been accused of sexual harassment toward a 3-year-old girl by the toddler’s parents, local media report. Prosecution referred the case to the child services after dropping a police probe.

Parents of a 3-year-old girl reported a sexual assault of their daughter to the police after her fellow 5-year-old kindergartener allegedly put a Lego brick in her panties. The parents, apparently outraged by such conduct, went straight to police, alleging a “sex attack” and several “other incidents” as compelling evidence, Austrian Krone newspaper reports.

Police had to carry out an investigation in the nursery which also included parents’ questioning. Upon completion, a police report was submitted to the prosecutor’s office to decide whether to start formal proceedings.

However, the prosecutor terminated the investigation and instead notified the child services and guardianship court.

"In cases involving youngsters, and this case involves a youngster, we never prosecute. Typically, this is the case right until the age of 18,” said prosecutor’s office spokesman Philip Christl. “There are exceptions for older children but usually there will be no prosecution,” he added as cited by Krone.

The girl’s parents, discouraged by the outcome of the probe, reportedly decided to move the toddler to another nursery school.

Cases involving juvenile sex offender of such a tender age are exceptional, however, a number of similar incidents made headlines in the past years, mainly in the US, where some states practice “zero tolerance” approach towards disciplinary violations.

In 2012, a 6-year-old boy from Denver, Colorado, was suspended from school for telling a girl “I'm sexy and I know it,” while quoting a then-popular song by LMFAO. His mother than stated that he didn’t even understand the meaning of sexual harassment.

"I'm just, I'm floored. They're going to look at him like he's a pervert. And it's like, that's not fair to him," the boy’s mother, Stephanie Meadows, told KMGH-TV.