Former Czech MP Dominik Feri Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Sexual Assault

In a significant legal development, the Prague 3 District Court has sentenced former Member of Parliament Dominik Feri to three years in prison for two counts of rape and one attempted rape. The court found him guilty on all counts, but it’s important to note that the verdict is not yet definitive, as Feri has promptly appealed the decision to the Prague Metropolitan Court.

Dominik Feri, who is 27 years old, has consistently maintained his innocence throughout the legal proceedings, repeatedly pleading not guilty. The prosecutor had proposed a prison sentence of approximately three years for Feri, arguing that the evidence strongly supported the charges. Feri, on the other hand, vehemently denied committing any sexual violence, and his legal defense team demanded his acquittal.

Judge Lenka Hajkova, in delivering the verdict, stated that the court had found it proven that the defendant committed sexual violence against all three victims. The primary basis for Feri’s conviction was the testimonies of the three young women involved, which were corroborated by other evidence. The credibility of the women’s accounts was further validated by court-appointed experts.

As part of the verdict, Dominik Feri has been ordered to compensate the victims with a total sum exceeding CZK 500,000.

The prosecution had charged Feri in connection with three separate incidents, two of which were alleged to have occurred in his Prague apartment in March and November 2016. According to the prosecution’s case, Feri engaged in non-consensual kissing and groping, followed by sexual acts with two of the victims. One of these victims was 17 years old at the time, and the prosecution claimed that Feri gave her a soft drink when she expressed a desire to leave, resulting in her becoming “partially unconscious.” However, it was not definitively established that the woman had ingested an intoxicating substance, and the judge noted that her condition could have been due to other factors.

The third incident, according to the prosecution, transpired in 2018 when Feri invited a woman to the Chamber of Deputies under the pretense of a possible internship opportunity. In this case, investigators asserted that Feri attempted to kiss and grope her but that she managed to escape, leading to the charge of attempted rape.

Feri consistently denied any involvement in sexual violence. Throughout the main trial and in his closing statements, he pointed out what he perceived as inconsistencies in the women’s testimonies. He also alleged that the police and the prosecution had pursued an “alibi-seeking approach” in his case, which he argued had severely impacted both his professional and personal life.

The police initiated their investigation into Feri following accusations from multiple women of sexual coercion, harassment, and violence. These allegations were first published in the spring of 2021 by the news outlets Denik N and Alarm. Subsequently, Feri resigned as an MP and announced that he would not run in the autumn 2021 general election. He also left his political party, TOP 09.

The case began its hearings in February, with further proceedings taking place in April and at the end of October. For much of the trial, the public was excluded from the courtroom to safeguard the sensitive data and identities of the victims.

Article by Prague Forum

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