Survivor stands witness against ‘Amager Attacker’

Woman who was dragged into woods and nearly strangled testifies that her attacker wore characteristic green sneakers

Yet another gruesome allegation of terrifying violence against women at the hands of the 'Amager Attacker' came forth in the trial of Marcel Lychau Hansen in Copenhagen City Court last week.

Hansen stands accused of murdering two women and violently raping eight others in a series of attacks around Copenhagen stretching back two decades. When the prosecution closes its argument before Christmas, more than 50 witnesses will have been called to the stand – including several of Hansen’s alleged victims and their partners and family members.

On Thursday last week, the court heard from a 47-year-old woman who was accosted on Vangedevej Road in Gentofte on the early morning of 22 July 2007, when she was walking home from a wedding party that took place in the clubhouse of a local football club, Jægersborg Boldklub.

Her attacker – allegedly Hansen – jumped from the bushes and struck her down on the sidewalk. He then wrapped her own belt around her neck and pulled her into the bushes in the Nymose marsh nature area, where he forced her to perform oral sex, according to the prosecutor.

A witness noticed a man in running clothes and Adidas sneakers come out of Nymose marsh and run towards Vangede train station. Shortly afterwards, another witness saw a woman walk out of the marsh with mud on both her back and front.

The woman was taken to Rigshospitalet after the attack, where doctors confirmed that the belt was tied so tightly around her neck that she was in “imminent danger” of being strangled. A clump of hair that the attacker pulled out of her head was later found by police at the crime scene.

The victim told police that her attacker was wearing green Adidas sneakers.

A range of witnesses independently confirmed to prosecutors that Hansen always wore Adidas Handball Special sneakers. Hansen’s girlfriend at the time of the attack was among those who told prosecutors that Hansen was particularly proud of a pair of green Adidas sneakers he owned.

Hansen denied in court that he had ever owned a pair of green Adidas sneakers.

Prosecutors also noted that Hansen was very familiar with Jægersborg Boldklub, where the victim had been attending the wedding party, and the nearby sports facility, Gentofte-Vangedes Idrætsklub, as he had been a football coach in the Copenhagen area for 15 years.

“I’ve been there lots of times. As a football coach, I know all the football clubs in greater Copenhagen. But none of this here has anything to do with me,” said Hansen.

Traces of DNA were found on the victim’s skirt after the attack. A DNA expert determined that the chances that the DNA is Hansen’s are 2200 times stronger than that it belongs to someone else. However, those odds are not sufficient for a conviction.

By contrast, DNA evidence from the clothing of other victims Hansen is charged with raping or murdering has been determined to be a one-million-to-one match to Hansen. One of those victims, Lene Buchardt Rasmussen, was raped and then strangled to death in a nature area in Amager.

Hansen has uniformly denied involvement in any of the crimes he is charged with.

Arguments in the Amager Attacker trial are scheduled to close on 22 December.

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