Moroccan man goes on trial in Germany for alleged New Year's Eve sexual attacks

Moroccan man goes on trial in Germany for alleged New Year's Eve sexual attacks
Cologne's train station where the sexual assaults are alleged to have happened.

A 33-year-old Moroccan has gone on trial in Duesseldorf on allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman on New Year's Eve.

The alleged assault was one of a string of attacks that night blamed largely on foreigners that fuelled a nationwide debate over immigration policies.

The defendant, identified only as Toufik M., is accused of being part of a group of 15-20 men who surrounded the woman and groped her.

News agency dpa reported that this is the first sexual assault case related to the New Year's Eve attacks to go to trial. Most of the attacks are alleged to have occurred in Cologne, about 30 miles south of Duesseldorf.

Cologne authorities have received more than 1,500 criminal complaints, about a third alleging sexual crimes. One man has been charged there with sexual assault.

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