A BELGIAN journalist has been groped live on air in the middle of the Cologne carnival. Esmeralda Labye, who works for broadcaster RTBF, was recording a piece to camera when a man ran up behind her and grabbed her breast. The news comes as police say they recorded 22 instances of sexual assault on the carnival’s opening night, arresting a total of 190 people.
“My piece to camera was chaotic, people showing middle fingers, a man who was having fun miming a sex act behind me and above all the hand placed on my breast, she added.” The identities of the men who groped Ms Labye are not yet known.
It is highly likely the perpetrators will be identified, however, as the entire incident played out live on Belgian television. The groping comes as Cologne police said there were 22 instances of women being sexually assaulted on the opening night of the carnival.
Officers said they had a total of 190 people in custody – with officials describing them as “a cross section of the general public”. More than 1,000 criminal charges have been filed in relation to the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Cologne.
11 people are in custody, most of whom are asylum seekers, according to the prosecutor’s office. Women complained of being robbed, groped and in one case raped as they passed through a group of about 1,000 men in the city centre.