While the exact cause of death is still being determined, the public prosecutor has announced that there are sufficient facts to suspect the 32-year-old Assen man who died over the weekend of molesting a child.
The man died while being held by five men who were reportedly trying to prevent him from fleeing before police arrived. One of the five men was the father of a 4-year-old girl who may have been molested by the deceased man.
According to the Public Prosecution Service, sufficient facts have emerged from the police investigation that point to a sex crime in the playground where the deceased was involved. “Due to the privacy of those involved, we can only make limited announcements about this ongoing investigation,” a public prosecution spokesperson said.
The death of the 32-year-old man has alarmed many residents in Assen and the rest of the Netherlands. Responses on social media suggested that if the man had indeed sexually assaulted a child that he had gotten “what he deserved”, but as reports that the man was deaf and mute emerged, other comments suggested that he may have been detained improperly.
The mayor of Assen, Marco Out, is continuing to call for cooler heads to prevail and to resist drawing any conclusions until all the facts are known. The city has largely heeded the mayor’s words, but the revelation from the public prosecutor that evidence suggests the man may indeed have committed a crime could change that.
The five men who had been arrested earlier have now been released, but they are still suspected of involvement in the man’s death for the time being. The man reportedly tried to leave the scene by bike, but the young girl’s father and four other men detained him until police arrived. By the time the cops showed up, the man was dead. It remains unclear what the exact cause of death was for the man following an initial autopsy this week by the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), and further testing will be carried out in the coming days and weeks.