ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
FILE -In this Dec. 31, 2015 file picture picture, persons gather at the Cologne, Germany, main station. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migrant troubles have reignited in the new year, with an outcry over assaults in Cologne blamed largely on foreigners and Bavarian allies renewing a push for a cap on asylum-seekers. Yet Merkel is sticking to her guns, insisting that Germany will manage the challenge and that diplomacy can bring solutions. (Markus Boehm/dpa via AP,file)

BERLIN (AP) - Authorities in Germany have arrested a 26-year-old Algerian man on suspicion of committing a sexual assault in Cologne during New Year's celebrations.

Cologne prosecutors said Monday the unidentified asylum-seeker was arrested at a refugee home in the nearby town of Kerpen over the weekend.

The man is the first person to be held on sexual offense related charges, after a string of assaults in Cologne that sparked a debate about integration in Germany.

Prosecutor's office spokesman Ulrich Bremer told The Associated Press that 497 women have come forward alleging sexual assault, including three rapes, during New Year's.

The suspect in custody is accused of groping a woman and robbing her cellphone.

A total of 21 people have been charged with non-sexual offenses.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT