The alleged mass sexual assault that occurred in Frankfurt, Germany on New Year’s Eve appears to have been made up, according to German police.
The rumor started after Bild, a publication The Independent calls a tabloid, wrote a story accusing 50 Arab migrants of assaulting German women in a restaurant.
Their reporting pinned the crime on refugees living in a nearby shelter in central Hasse, the German province in which Frankfurt is located.
The report was then run by right-wing outlets, such as Breitbart, whipping those readers into a frenzy. Bild has since deleted the story from their website.
In that original story, Bild spoke to a chef who said that dozens of Arab migrants rushed into his restaurant and terrorized his patrons by stealing their clothes and sexually assaulting them.
Bild also spoke with a 27-year-old female who said:
“I’m thankful I wore sheer tights. They grabbed me under the skirt, between my legs, my breasts, everywhere. … Me and my girlfriends. More and more of these guys came. Their hands were everywhere.”
However, The Independent is now reporting that police said on Tuesday that these allegations were “completely baseless” and that one of the supposed victims wasn’t even in the city at the time. They added that there were no sexual assaults reported to police from that area around that time.
“Interviews with alleged witnesses, guests and employees led to major doubts with the version of events that had been presented,” police told the German publication Frankfurter Rundschau, according to The Independent. “Masses of refugees were not responsible for any sexual assaults in the Fressgass over New Year. The accusations are completely baseless.”
Meanwhile, Bild’s editor-in-chief tweeted an apology, saying that: “We apologize for our own work. I’ll shortly announce what Bild will do about it.”
German police are now considering pressing charges against the chef and the 27-year-old woman for fabricating the story.
Next, read up on the Christian leaders across the country that oppose Trump’s travel ban, before finding out how Nazi language has become increasingly common in Germany’s discussion of the refugee crisis.