Berlin - Sinisa K. didn't just want to appease his sex drive. He sought power and dominance when he assaulted seven women - raping six - in southwest Berlin as well as Bernau in Brandenburg last summer, criminal court judge Ralf Vogl said on Monday. The 30-year-old defendant had just been sentenced to 14 years for aggravated rape and rape in combination with bodily harm. The defendant will also be detained following his sentence because the trained electrician is a threat to the general public, Vogl said.

Sinisa K. kept suburban Berlin on edge last summer during the series of assaults - his youngest victim was 14, his oldest 27 - that occurred within a month at increasingly shorter intervals. Sinisa K.'s modus operandi was always the same. He attacked in the afternoon or early evening. He forced women to stop resisting by threatening and choking them, and putting them in fear for their lives.

"He was controlled and very targeted in his acts," Vogl said.

The defendant began his violent crime spree shortly after his pregnant girlfriend returned to Serbia. In his first attack, on 12 June, he ambushed a 14-year-old girl who was riding her bike alone in Grunewald. Sinisa K. pushed her off the path, threatened her with a screwdriver, strangled her, dragged her into the forest and raped her.

DNA confirmation

Three days later he attacked a 20-year-old woman who was on her way home in Bernau, a city northwest of Berlin in Brandenburg. Sinisa K. was nearly arrested after the attack but was able to escape "because of his impressive physical fitness," the judge said. But despite knowing about the intensive search for him, he continued. 

He struck five more times, always seeking out women who were traveling alone. When one attack failed, he tried again two hours later. Sinisa K. was caught shortly after an attack on 14 July.

"In all cases, DNA confirmed his participation," Vogl said. The defendant also confessed, which is why he was spared the maximum sentence of 15 years.

The defendant had been intensively consuming rape pornography during the series of attacks, the judge said. The crimes also mirrored an earlier sentence in Serbia where he raped a woman shortly after becoming the father of a son in 2011. He was sentenced to five years in that crime.

Lasting effects

"I'm glad that the criminal court used such clear words," Roland Weber, a victim's lawyer, said after the verdict. The defendant grew increasingly brutal with each attack and his victims continue to suffer from sleep disorders, panic attacks, nightmares and are fearful when they venture out alone.

Andrew Bulkeley adapted this article from the original German.

More Berlin news in English.