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Four suspects were underage, unaccompanied refugees. Jürgen Mathies, the new Cologne police chief, said many of the perpetrators were from countries where they might be familiar with "this behaviour, where women are hemmed in and then abused by a large number of men at once".

The Cologne assaults were not reported by the national media for days, and The Local says many news outlets started reporting it only after a wave of anger on social media made covering the story unavoidable.

68 suspects were asylum seekers; 18 were residing in Germany illegally, and the legal status of 47 others was unclear.

‘Joanne Berry arranged for men to go around to the woman’s house and rape her.

Luckily that did not happen,’ said prosecutor Andrew Espley, ‘She went on various sex chat websites, pretending to be the victim, gave her address, used her name, gave the registration of her car which was going to be parked outside and told men to come around to engage in a fantasy rape game with her – basically to rape her.’ She was found guilty of assault with intent to commit a sexual offence, common assault and attempting to cause a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.

According to Kent Online, she told one man: ‘Grab me by the neck and really scare and intimidate me. Then you basically have free rein.’ The 30-year-old gave out her colleague’s name, address and car registration in online conversations, Maidstone crown court heard.

At least three men arrived at the home of the victim, who cannot be named, to carry out the ‘fantasy rape’.

Although Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker condemned the assaults, she was strongly criticized for some of her comments and was accused of blaming the victims.

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