Investigation points to playground sex crime, vigilante death investigators say


Police in Assen investigating the death of a man said to have molested a four-year-old girl now believe they have enough evidence that some form of sexual assault did take place, the public prosecution department said.

‘The police investigation has uncovered enough facts which point to a sex crime in the playground which involved the person who died,’ the statement said. ‘Out of privacy considerations for those involved, we will only make limited further statements about this ongoing investigation.’

Five men aged between 27 and 54, were picked up on Sunday after an ‘altercation’ with the man at a playground in the district of Peelo, during which he died. The five, who include the girl’s father, remain suspects in the death but have since been released.

A post mortem examination on Monday failed to reveal the cause of the death but the results of further tests may make that clear, officials said. However, it may take some time for those to be completed.


Reports of what happened on Saturday are confused, but it now appears the girl’s father spoke to the man accused of molesting the girl and tried to stop him from cycling off. Both fell over in the struggle.

Four other men, all from Assen, then joined in to stop the suspect from leaving until the police came. Despite efforts to revive him, he had died, police said at the weekend.

Dutch media say the man was a 32-year-old deaf mute who works as a gardener. His colleagues told the AD they did not believe the man had molested a child. ‘He was a decent young man who had not let his handicap get in the way,’ one fellow gardener told the AD.

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