Prague - Prague Court of Appeals issued a new sentence for former choirmaster Bohumil Kulínský. He was originally sentenced to 3 years in prison with 5 years' probation last year. Now the sentence is much tougher - 5 years in prison.
In April 2008 the court in Hradec Králové found Kulínský guilty of sexual abuse of 19 girls between 1984 - 2002. Kulínský molested about 6 underage girls. Three of them were even under 15. But the court gave Kulínský a relatively low sentence - 5 years' probation and 10 years' ban of working in the field of conducting.
Defendant´s lawyer Tomáš Sokol file an appeal agaist the sentence but now Kulínský received a much more severe one.
Tomáš Sokol considers the sentence of 5 years in prison too severe, arguing that he has been punished enough by now.
"He cannot find a job in his field. He is screwed up," Sokol said at the court.
But the 3-member judge senate headed by Karel Vrzáň said that Kulínský should be held accountable for his misdeeds. In their view the Hradec Králové judge erred when he issued only a probation sentence.
"His previously spotless criminal record is the only mitigating circumstance," said judge Vrzáň.
Sokol also argued that Kulínský did a lot for his country, however, the judges did not accept this argument either.
Some of the girls who were among the witnesses at the trial in Hradec Králové were 12 years old at the time when they were members of the choir. Part of their testimony was a description of taking the sauna with Mr. Kulínský where they had to stand naked, while Mr. Kulínský was showering them with a hose.
Lawyer Sokol said it was optional, not compulsory, to be in the choir and the victims could have left any time.
"Criminal social conduct cannot be justified by the fact the victim could have left the place and thus prevent the crime," said the judges.
Bohumil Kulínský, however, rejects all accusations. In some cases he did admit having an affair with some of the singers but he alleged they all were adults.
autor: CzechNews | 16. 1. 2009
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