A 13- year-old girl who claimed she was abducted and raped by migrants, an allegation that sparked a major row between Russia and Germany, was actually sleeping over at a friend’s house during that night.
The girl, identified simply as Lisa, a member of Germany’s Russian-speaking minority was reported missing when her parents received a call that she failed to turn up at her school. The girl arrived home 30 hours later with injuries on her face and a claim that she was sexually assaulted by three men of Arabic or African descent.
The allegations served as fuel to the fire that was the Cologne sex attacks and sparked a fury of protests from the Russian-German community and anti-Islamic movements.
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly accused the German authorities of trying to cover up the incident and demanded action after they learned the girl was reported missing in Berlin.
“The news of her disappearance was kept secret,” Lavrov said. “They are painting over reality with political correctness.”
German police said there was no evidence of rape after the girl underwent a medical checkup, but refused to comment further in order to preserve her privacy as a minor.
Prosecutors finally broke their silence on Jan. 31 when the girl’s mother gave an interview saying that the rape accusations were not true. It is now revealed that Lisa stayed with a 19-year-old friend because she was afraid to go home after the school informed contacted her parents for not appearing in class.
"Using data from her broken mobile phone, we were able to access information about a young German man aged 19 — an acquaintance of the 13-year-old girl," prosecutor's office spokesman Martin Steltner said.
Police says that no sexual contact, neither consensual nor non-consensual, took place and the 19-year-old acquaintance is not under any suspicion. Lisa’s mother reported that her daughter was doing badly and was undergoing psychiatric treatment.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier accused Lavrov of exploiting the girl’s case to fuel an already inflamed debated about migrants in the country. Last year, more than 1 million asylum seekers entered Germany, most of them of Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi descent, as Chancellor Angela Merkel came under fire for her accepting stance toward refugees.