Romanian convicted for rape and murder on Sofie Muylle: "He is a monster," says father

The Court of Assizes jury in Bruges has found Romania's Alexandru Caliniuc guilty of the murder and rape of Sofie Muylle in 2017. The body of the young West-Flemish woman - she was 27 at the time - was found under a wooden terrace on Knokke beach on a cold January day. The convict will now his punishment next week.  

The public prosecutor and the lawyers of the Muylle family said that the accused played a major role in her death: he raped the victim in a violent way before murdering her - actively or passively. He failed to help her when she was dying, they argued. 

On the contrary, he dragged her body towards a place hidden underneath a wooden terrace on the beachfront to rape her and to hide her. "A sexual predator", the public prosecutor said. "You can also murder a person by not doing anything", the lawyer of Sofie's father added. 

The Romanian and his lawyer only admitted the rape and pleaded not guilty on charges of murder and torture. "I want to apologise to the family and I want to pay for my mistakes, but not for mistakes I didn't make", the man told the court. 

But the jury did not follow and found the accused guilty of murder. The 12 men and women only needed two hours to come to a conclusion. The sentence will be determined on Tuesday, but the accused risks a life-long sentence, but if he serves in Romania, this will become 25 years maximum. The father of the victim was happy with the jury's decision: "That man is a monster."     

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