The case was dismissed subject to one year’s probation. If any of the students engages in a criminal offence during that period, he or she will have to account for the chat messages in a court of justice, as well. A spokesperson for the Prosecutor’s Office confirmed this to Erasmus Magazine.

Last year users of a group chat used by third-year EUC students were subjected to dozens of racist, sexist and anti-Semitic images which were posted to their chat over a brief period of time. The persons who posted the images were not EUC students, but rather EUR and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences students who had been added to the group by a friend.

The Executive Board was appalled and announced that it would press charges. EUC Dean Gabriele Jacobs personally went to the police station to report the crime in July. “We are taking this matter very seriously. The messages to my students were rude and vulgar, and they found them quite threatening,” Jacobs told EM at the time.

Criminal offence

The Public Prosecution Service decided to dismiss the case, subject to conditions, since the students have apologised to the members of the group chat and are said to have been punished by their respective education institutions and their rowing club, Skadi. If any of them do anything criminal during the next year, they will have to account to the judge for the messages posted in the group chat, as well.

A spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Service emphasised that a dismissal subject to conditions does not constitute an acquittal. “It has been proven that a criminal offence has been committed. When we determine the nature of the punishment, we always look at the person and whether they have already received punishment – possibly a trial by media. The punishment is determined by the context.”