The man whose wife died in a 48-hour BDSM sex session when a sharp object was inserted into her days after their wedding has been handed a one-and-a-half-year suspended sentence.
The sentence at Krefeld Court in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia followed the death of his wife in July last year.
"If the woman had been taken to hospital straight away, she could have been saved," the sentencing Judge, Johannes Hochguertel, lamented.
The judge blasted the man’s behaviour as grossly negligent but ultimately accepted that there was no motive to justify a negligent manslaughter charge against 52-year-old Ralph Jankus.
"We do not have a motive to file any murder charges," he said.
Instead, the prosecutor had brought the lesser charge of grievous bodily harm with fatal consequences for which they had demanded three and a half years. After the suspended sentence was announced instead, Jankus who has been in custody for the past seven months was allowed to leave court a free man.
Barbed hook device at centre of case
In passing the lesser sentence, the court also took into consideration how the man was suffering after the death of his wife, Christel, 49, who had willingly took part in the BDSM sex session.
They accepted they were consensual because the woman often spoke about the type of sex she was having in her circle of friends.
The judge said that the man must have realised the seriousness of his wife’s injuries, but accepted his claims that she did not want to be taken to hospital.
Janus claimed in court he was not aware how serious his wife’s injuries were as she had often complained about pain and discomfort before. He said she had even been to see a specialist previously, who carried out a colonoscopy, but nothing had been found wrong with her.
Just days after their wedding, Jankus and his wife enjoyed a mammoth 48-hour sex session during which time the victim suffered severe internal injuries after a sharp object was inserted into her.
The court heard the device was a so-called Nervenrad which in English is known as a Wartenberg wheel, which is used by medics to check nerve reaction. But it is also used as a sex toy by BDSM practitioners, often while connected to an electricity supply.
When emergency services were eventually called four days later, there was nothing they could do to save the victim.
When initially questioned, Jankus told police the sex had been consensual and that he has been taking part in BDSM sessions for the past 30 years.
According to reports, he told police that he loved his wife dearly and instead of going on a honeymoon they opted for a steamy sex session lasting two days.
Forensic specialists came to the conclusion that the woman must have had some sort of barbed hook inserted into her and when it was removed it perforated her bowel.
Wife had been abused, son says
The victim's 30-year-old son, who has not been named, claimed his mother had been abused as a child and was mentally unstable.
He said his mother was dominated by her new husband and had started wearing clothes to cover up alleged injuries.
According to local media, she had previously reported her partner for abuse in 2017, but later withdrew her complaint and spent some time in a psychiatric clinic.
Her son claims that she fled to a women's shelter in 2018, before returning happier and wanting to marry her partner in July of the same year.
He said: "She had injuries over her whole body and especially in her genital area.
“I warned her that she was putting up with too much and that it should never have gone this far."
Just days after proudly announcing his marriage on social media, Ralph posted: "I want to thank you all for the goodwill messages on our wedding day. Unfortunately, I have to tell you that my dear wife died suddenly just eight days after our wedding. All the happiness I have experienced was during the years with my wife.”
The couple had been together since 2011.
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