22 Sexual Assaults During ‘Ladies Night’ at Cologne Carnival, Reporter Groped On Live TV

By Jacob Bojesson

The Cologne Carnival kicked off Thursday with 22 reported cases of sexual assaults, including two rapes, despite increased security.

The annual Carnival — one of the largest festivals in Europe — kicked off Thursday with “Ladies Night.” New measures such as “safe zones” for women and 2,500 police officers on patrol were supposed to prevent a repeat of the attacks on New Year’s Eve. (RELATED: Cologne Prepares For More Sexual Assaults During Carnival This Week)

While the events appear to have been on a much smaller scale, two serious cases of rape were reported. Last year’s opening had 10 reported cases.

Tabloid Bild claims a 22-year-old girl was knocked unconscious by a 17-year-old Afghan refugee after he showed her porn on his cell phone. She claims she didn’t “feel like she’d been raped” when she woke up.

Esmeralda Labye, a Belgian reporter, was groped on live television by men of European appearance that appeared to be intoxicated.

“At first they were just making faces behind me. Then a hand landed on my breast. I was was shocked,” Labye said. “My piece on camera was chaotic, people showing middle fingers, a man who was having fun miming a sex act behind me and above all the hand placed on my breast.”


Cologne police made a total of 181 arrests throughout the night. The festival will continue through Ash Wednesday next week.

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