Former Czech MP gets three-year jail term for multiple charges of rape

After a two-year court investigation, the ruling judge found that the defendants presented a true and factual account of the events that happened. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.11.2023 11:12:00 (updated on 02.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Prague 3 District Court this morning sentenced former member of parliament (MP) Dominik Feri to three years in prison for two rapes and one attempted rape, finding him guilty on all counts of his indictments. Feri, 27, has also been ordered to pay a total of over CZK 500,000 as financial compensation to his victims. The verdict is not final and Feri is expected to appeal it to the Prague Metropolitan Court.

An MP for the TOP 09 party between 2017 and 2021, Feri is accused of committing two acts in his apartment in 2016 and once at the Chamber of Deputies building two years later.

Abusing a position of power

According to the prosecution, Feri kissed and groped the two girls despite their clear disapproval, and subsequently performed sexual acts on them. One of the girls was 17 years old at the time, and the prosecutor alleges that Feri gave her a soft drink when she wanted to leave, which left her "partially unconscious." Prosecutors had no evidence of any narcotics present in the drink. 

The third incident occurred when Feri invited a woman to the Chamber of Deputies for a possible position as an intern. According to investigators, he attempted to kiss and grope her, but she managed to leave. Therefore, the prosecution qualifies the case as attempted rape.

"The court took it as proven that the defendant committed sexual violence against all three victims," said judge Lenka Hájková in her final verdict. Hájková noted that all defendants presented their cases “factually, chronologically and logically.”

Feri maintains innocence

Feri has repeatedly denied having committed any sexual violence. At the main trial and in his closing speech, he repeatedly referred to his perceived inconsistencies in the women's testimonies. 

He also said that the police and the prosecutor had taken an alibi-seeking approach to his case, and that the prosecution had destroyed both his professional and personal life. He does not deny any of the incidents took place, but claims all were consensual. 

Police started investigating Feri after several women accused him of sexual coercion, harassment, and violence in 2021. Following their testimonies, published in the spring of 2021 by the websites Deník N and Alarm, Feri resigned as an MP and announced that he would not run in the autumn 2021 general election. He also left TOP 09.

The accusations of wrongdoing against Feri helped spark a significant turning point in the #MeToo movement in Czechia, bringing to light victims’ voices on an issue that, in the past, might have been concealed or overlooked.

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