Sunday 12 July 2020

Dutch police officer accused of blackmailing gay men, faces jail

Photo: Depositphotos.com

A police officer from Wijk bij Duurstede appeared in court in Utrecht on Friday accused of blackmailing gay men whose cars had been spotted close to a popular cruising zone.

The man is accused of sending 37 letters to the owners of cars spotted parked close to the zones on the A1 and A27. He threatened his victims with disclosure unless they paid up €1,000, local broadcaster RTV Utrecht said.

The suspect is said to have used a colleague’s computer to find out about the car owners in the police registration system. He is known to have checked out information about 80 cars.

The investigation started in May 2015 when the police noticed a surge in complaints from men who said they were being blackmailed after visiting a cruising zone. A further 20 men responded to an appeal for other victims to come forward.

Just one victim was in court on Friday, which, the public prosecutor said, highlighted the sensitivity of the case.

The police officer who was arrested in March 2016 and suspended from his job has said he is sorry for his actions and that he failed to oversee the consequences. The former officer faces two years in jail, six months suspended.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.