Berlin teen admits fabricating migrant gang-rape story, official says

Updated 9:58 AM EST, Mon February 1, 2016

Story highlights

Claims that a 13-year-old was raped by migrants sparked outrage in Germany

But the girl admitted making up the story

She was staying with a German man during her absence, prosecutors say

(CNN) —  

A Berlin teen who claimed to have been abducted and gang-raped by migrants, sparking angry protests and an international row with Russia, has admitted making up the story and was found to have been staying with a German man instead, an official said Monday.

The 13-year-old girl – a member of Berlin’s Russian-speaking community – made the rape claim to police when she returned after a 30-hour absence last month. She alleged that three men of Arabic and Turkish descent had dragged her into a car at a train station and abused her.

Stories of the girl’s ordeal circulated in Russian media and on social networks, prompting street demonstrations by Russian-German communities and right-wing groups.

Even Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov weighed in, accusing German authorities of a politically correct “coverup.”

But Berlin prosecutor’s office spokesman Martin Steltner said the girl withdrew her claim after a medical examination showed that she had not been raped.

Police determined through her phone records that she was staying with a German man on the night of her absence, Steltner said.

The man and his mother confirmed that the girl had been at the house. No sexual activity occurred that night, Steltner said.

From speaking to the girl, police determined that she had had sexual contact with two men months before her disappearance.

The men were being held for questioning because the girl is under the age of consent, and they admitted the sexual contact, Steltner said.

One of the men was a Turkish citizen, he said.

He said the girl had been experiencing problems at school.

Germany is reeling from a wave of mob sex assaults blamed on migrants on New Year’s Eve.

More than 900 people reported being attacked by North African or Arab men during festivities in Cologne, with 523 of them reporting having been sexually assaulted. Similar attacks were reported in other German cities.

CNN’s Nadine Schmidt reported from Berlin and Tim Hume reported and wrote from London.