He is a convicted rapist but has not yet started his prison sentence. Max H.* (36) was sentenced to three years and four months in prison in 2020 because he raped the then 17-year-old Edith Stehfest (27) in 2012 and filmed himself doing it. The judgment did not become final until November 2021. Until then, H. had been on the run.
Now he could be caught in Portugal. «I am completely speechless. I just didn’t expect it at that point, »says the singer, who is married to actor Erich Stehfest (32), to «Bild».
Thought the police ‘wouldn’t get it’
She knew, says Stehfest, that H. was in Portugal. But he was sure that the police “would not be able to make a cross-border arrest”. “I’m very positively surprised and grateful,” says the mother of two. “But I’m also sure that my courage, my loudness, have contributed to the fact that the case does not fall out of the public eye.”
Edith Stehfest knew nothing about the abuse for years. She was drugged at the time and was motionless when Max H. assaulted the teenager.
In 2018, the video of the rape reached the Leipzig police, who then showed Edith Stehfest. “When I saw the video at the police station, I went into shock,” she said at the time. The hardest time of their lives begins for the couple. The couple withdraws from the public.
Perpetrator worked with children
In 2020 Edith Stehfest will find her way back and talk about what happened to her. She does not want to be quiet and testifies against H. in court when she is very pregnant with her second child. The fact that he can go into hiding after the conviction because the court sees no risk of absconding is another setback. But now she is relieved: “I’m only realizing slowly … oh, madness, I’ve fought like this for four years.”
Words to rapists: “Your life will no longer be beautiful”(00:22)
She even pointed out to the police that the sex offender was in Portugal. “Again and again people from Leipzig have contacted me and asked them to go to the police with the smallest piece of information. One had seen a picture of him in the Algarve. The blatant thing is that he is said to have worked in a children’s project there. That didn’t let me sleep. That was really the scariest thing for me.” (grb)
*Name known to editors