What do the victims of Siegfried Mauser say?

Mow Siegfried Mauser to prison, or will he be spared? This question has still not been answered, although the pianist and former president of the Munich Music Academy has been convicted of sexual assault in three cases since 2018. The Salzburg Regional Court – Mauser also has Austrian citizenship and is allowed to serve his sentence in Austria – had ordered his incarceration on February 1, 2022. A petition for clemency from the Austrian Federal President and Bavarian Prime Minister is now to prevent this, at the instigation of his lawyer Johann Schwenn. What do Mauser’s victims, the mezzo-soprano Maria Collien and the harpsichordist Christine Schornsheim, joint plaintiffs in the Mauser trial, have to say about this?

Ms. Collien, Ms. Schornsheim, do you assume that Mr. Mauser will actually start his detention on February 1?

Schornsheim: I won’t believe that until he’s done it. The fact that the Salzburg district court has not caved in and considers him liable deserves respect. I think this clarity and steadfastness is good, and now the political dignitaries have to prove it.

Collien: I can’t imagine that such a plea for clemency can be successful. Mauser is a twice-convicted sex offender, you would turn the judiciary into a puppet show.

The background to the request is a constitutional complaint with the Federal Constitutional Court, which takes time. Mauser’s lawyer wants to resume proceedings against you, Ms. Collien, he doesn’t think you have credibility. The district court of Augsburg rejected this.

Collien: Everything that has been put forward so far is a single defamation and lie. On the basis of flimsy arguments, a perpetrator-victim reversal takes place. My testimonies were sincere and have been confirmed by all authorities. The only reason why Mauser is taking action against me is because the sentence in my case, at two years and nine months, was significantly higher than that of Ms. Schornsheim (nine months on probation; ed.).


The mezzo-soprano Maria Collien.
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Photo: Robert Brembeck

Do you lose faith in the rule of law when suddenly high politics decides on the question of detention?

Schornsheim: There come a doubt. What is the point of court judgments if they are not enforced? What kind of constitutional state would that be if the courts didn’t have the last word in the end? That would be hard to endure. I have no feelings of revenge or anything. In any case, real satisfaction would only set in for me if Mauser admitted his guilt. Or if he would send signals and give back his medals. But that is daydreaming. I wonder how he’s been able to live with denying the obvious for years. There is also a loss of reality.

His lawyer considers the Mauser case to be a miscarriage of justice.

Schornsheim: Allow me a bit of social romance: I also wonder what drives the lawyers? Wouldn’t it be her job to remind Mauser to face up to his responsibilities instead of stylizing him as a victim of justice? Mauser also had a money edition in my case. He had three years to pay me 2,000 euros in damages. The deadline expired last September, my lawyer asked, a week ago he suddenly paid. He doesn’t go to jail, but he pays the money. Isn’t that a kind of admission of guilt?

Sentenced in three cases: Where and when the pianist Siegfried Mauser will begin his prison sentence has not yet been answered.


Sentenced in three cases: Where and when the pianist Siegfried Mauser will begin his prison sentence has not yet been answered.
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Image: dpa

As a victim, how can you deal with such a story that years later has not been legally decided?

Collien: I vacillate between the extremes: There are phases when I don’t read anything anymore and don’t notice anything anymore, and if Mauser were in Honolulu I wouldn’t care. And then it comes back up again, like now, you don’t sleep for three nights and you’re at the end of your nerves.

Schornsheim: It’s very grueling. So you can never completely close the topic for yourself.

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