Court convicts virtual partner of ‘nude selfies’ mayor
A woman who received nude selfies from a serving mayor has been found guilty of five charges including attempted coercion and defamation.
Nearly two years after the saga that garnered widespread attention in Switzerland, court proceedings against the woman at the centre of the case were concluded on Friday, reported news agency ATS.
The scandal – dubbed GeriGate by the media – broke in August 2014 when it emerged that Geri Müller, a Green Party federal MP and mayor of Baden, in the canton of Aargau, had sent nude pictures of himself in his city hall office to a woman friend.
He was also accused of sending lewd messages to the woman through a sex chat site during work time.
Though stressing that it was a “private matter”, Müller came under pressure to resign and finally stepped aside temporarily from his mayoral role. He was later reinstated.
In a press conference when the story broke, Müller said he decided to put an end to the ‘virtual relationship’ after five months, when the woman became obsessed and started sending 30 text messages a day.
But then she “threatened to do something bad and contact the media”.
Excerpts of the chat messages sent by Müller to the woman then surfaced in a report by the Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper.
Müller said he was “ashamed” after the report was published, but that he had done nothing wrong and the affair hadn't affected his work.
Müller later brought a case against the woman with whom he’d had a ‘virtual relationship’ for recording their private conversations without his knowledge.
The case was then expanded to include charges against several others, including the editor-in-chief of Schweiz am Sonntag, for having used Müller’s chat messages and made them accessible to a third party.
On Friday the woman was found guilty of five charges including attempted coercion, defamation, the unauthorized recording of conversations and falsifying documents, said ATS.
The court imposed a fine of 1,800 francs and a further suspended penalty of 9,000 francs.
She must also pay legal costs totalling 24,300 francs.
However the woman in question is appealing the verdict.
Müller is no longer a federal MP after his term came to an end in 2015, but remains the mayor of Baden.