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Jürg Jegge Prosecutor drops sexual abuse case against Swiss educator

A picture of Jürg Jegge and his accuser at a press conference

Markus Zangger at a press conference in Zurich. His book contains allegations that Jegge had sexually abused him over many years. 

(Keystone)

Canton Zurich’s public prosecutor has dropped sexual abuse charges against former special needs teacher and well-known pedagogical author Jürg Jegge. Though Jegge admitted to having had sexual contact with his students, most of the charges are past the statue of limitations. 

The starting point for the legal case was the publication of a bookexternal link called “The Dark Side of Jürg Jegge - the abuse of a star pedagogue” in April 2017. The book was written by a former student of Jegge’s, Markus Zangger, and contains allegations that Jegge had sexually abused Zangger over many years. Following the revelations, numerous other former pupils came out against Jegge.

In an interviewexternal link with local TV station Tele Züri in April, the former teacher and well-respected Swiss pedagogue himself admitted to many of the sexual acts with “fewer than ten” former students, claiming that they were not abuse but intended as “a suitable therapy form for the development and liberation of certain children”.

Jegge also told the Swiss News Agency SDA-ATS that “there were all kinds of contacts, including sexual ones” with his students during his time as their teacher. Despite these confessions, the prosecution dropped the case against him on Monday because most of the acts were past the statute of limitations. They also struggled to find more witnesses who were willing to testify against Jegge in court.

‘Personal violation’

Former student Zangger says he has accepted the prosecution’s decision and is not going to take it any further.

“I can live with the decision and have said everything there was to say,” he told SDA-ATS.

The prosecution wrote that Jegge had “violated written rules of conduct in civil law in a morally reprehensible way” and infringed on the rights of his students, regardless of how long ago those acts had taken place. The court ordered Jegge to pay CHF4,400 ($4,580) in procedural costs. Jegge has filed a complaint against that order.

 

SDA-ATS/ln

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