A 15 year old schoolgirl's sexual relationship with her uncle will be allowed to continue after a court in Germany ruled the pair had a right to be together.
The teenager from Schildow, Brandenburg, has been with the 48-year-old since she was 14 and the couple ran away together last year sparking a police manhunt.
The court based its ruling on the absence of any criminal law prohibiting the relationship between the uncle and the 15-year-old girl simply identified as Josephine due to German privacy laws.
Josephine had claimed she was in love with her uncle and had consciously decided to elope with him.
The teenager’s parents thereafter approached the court for an order restricting the uncle from being in contact with their daughter, a request that was challenged by the 14-year-old.
The judge ruled that at 14, Josephine’s decision had to be respected and that she risked “serious damage in her social-emotional and mental development” if she was prevented from further contact with the uncle.
In the ruling, the court noted Josephine has clear views and priorities, which she has also claimed and demanded.
Additionally, she has consistently expressed her desire for a relationship with her uncle as 'goal-oriented and stable'.
The decision also notes the girl has an 'above average intelligent' and was a 'girl who had matured early and quickly reflected a lot on what she wanted'.
The court however stated that the decision in no way amounted to an endorsement or approval of the relationship.
“The relationship may be socially undesirable and unacceptable, but it is not covered by criminal law, and not categorically forbidden,” the judge held.
In Germany the age of sexual consent is 14, like in most European countries, as long as a person over the age of 21 does not exploit a 14 or 15-year-old person's lack of capacity for sexual self-determination.