Germany: suspended prison sentence for former Real Metzelder, convicted of child pornography

The former German international Christoph Metzelder, who had notably played for Real Madrid, confessed this Thursday, during his trial, the dissemination of child pornography images. The 40-year-old former defender was given a ten-month suspended prison sentence.

The former German international Christoph Metzelder was sentenced this Thursday in Düsseldorf to ten months suspended sentence for the dissemination of child pornography images, which he confessed. Metzelder, 40, had, from the first day of his trial, admitted to having sent pornographic files concerning girls and young girls in 2019 via WhatsApp messaging to several women, including an ex-girlfriend, who had denounced him.

The trial was initially scheduled to last until early May but this confession paved the way for this ten-month suspended prison sentence. Some 297 files with sexual content featuring children or adolescents were found on his mobile phone during the investigation.

“I’m going to have to live the rest of my life with this guilt”

“I accept the sanction and ask forgiveness from the victims of sexual violence. I will have to live the rest of my life with this guilt,” he said before the judgment, he who risked up to five years in prison. “He knows what he did. He also knows that it can be considered a fault and he knows that he must face up to his responsibilities”, declared on April 21 one of his lawyers, Ulrich Sommer. “He is shocked by himself, to have had this kind of double life,” added the lawyer, assuring however that his client was “obviously not” a pedophile.

The ex-Mannschaft defender was undergoing coaching training with the German Football Association (DFB) when the investigation was opened in September 2019. The German public broadcaster ARD, for which he was a consultant, immediately reported decided to suspend its cooperation with him for the duration of the investigations.

Vice-world champion 2002, Christoph Metzelder has 47 caps for the national team between 2001 and 2008. He spent most of his career in Germany, first in Dortmund (2000-2007) before moving to Real Madrid ( 2007-2010) then a return to Germany in Schalke, until his retirement from sports in 2013. Since then, he managed an advertising agency and his own “Christoph Metzelder Foundation”, which supports projects for children and young people. At the same time, he coached the Under-19 team of TuS Haltern in North Rhine-Westphalia.

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