Man convicted in Neuschwanstein castle murder-rape gets life in prison

BERLIN — A German regional court on Monday convicted U.S. citizen Troy Philipp B. of murder, rape and attempted murder for an attack on two American tourists and sentenced him to life in prison.

The man, 31, who attacked two female U.S. tourists close to Germany’s famed Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria last June, admitted to the crimes at the start of the trial in February. His lawyer told the court that he was “deeply ashamed” of his actions. His full name was not released due to Germany’s privacy laws.

Man arrested in killing of U.S. tourist on cliff near German castle

The man lured the two women, ages 21 and 22, away from the main route near the Marienbrücke bridge — a popular tourist viewpoint for the castle — before pushing the 21-year-old to the ground to try to rape her. After her friend intervened, he pushed the 22-year-old down a 165-foot drop, which she survived.

According to investigators, he raped the 21-year-old and strangled her with a belt while he filmed the act. Interrupted by two other tourists, the man threw the unconscious woman down the gorge.

Both women were taken by helicopter to a hospital, where the younger woman died. The women’s names also were not released by German authorities. However, relatives and associates have identified them as Illinois residents Eva Liu, who died, and Kelsey Chang, who survived.

Police launched a search of the area and the suspect was arrested near the scene shortly after the attack.

The presiding judge at Monday’s sentencing noted the “particular severity” of guilt, meaning that parole after 15 years — the earliest possible time for someone who receives a life sentence in Germany — is unlikely.

Neuschwanstein Castle, famed as the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle, was built in the 19th century by Bavarian King Ludwig II. Today, the tourist attraction pulls in about 1.5 million visitors every year.

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