Austria: the trial of Florian Teichtmeister is delayed – culture

The actor, who is accused of possessing child sexual abuse images, is said to be ill.

The trial against Austrian actor Florian Teichtmeister planned for February 8 at the Vienna Criminal Court has to be postponed. Due to the defendant’s illness, the press office of the judiciary announced that the hearing, which was scheduled for three hours this Wednesday, could not take place.

In mid-January it became known that the well-known television and film actor was accused of collecting around 58,000 files depicting child abuse. Teichtmeister confesses and claims to have started therapy years ago. Because he’s considered a first-time offender, if convicted, he has a good chance of getting away with a suspended sentence of under two years.

After the case became known, the Austrian government announced higher penalties for depicting child abuse. The conservative-green coalition also wants to offer protection concepts against child abuse for schools, youth clubs and other institutions and make more money available for victim support and psychological therapy for perpetrators.

The Burgtheater wants to sue Teichtmeister

The case had not only in Austria caused a stir because the artist, who was engaged at the Burgtheater in Vienna and had played the role of Emperor Franz Joseph in the hit film “Corsage”, apparently lied to all his employers. Nevertheless, it was an open secret in the theater and film scene that Teichtmeister possessed depictions of abuse. He is said to have sometimes shown around violent videos on the set.

A year and a half ago, two media reports made it public knowledge that Teichtmeister was being investigated for possession of child pornographic material, domestic violence and drug possession; his partner reported him. However, when asked by the management of the Burgtheater under Martin Kušej and by Corsage director Maria Kreutzer, Teichtmeister denied that there was anything to the investigation; his partner wanted to take revenge on him.

While other clients and directors, including the ORF, gradually ended their collaboration with Teichtmeister, the actor at the Burgtheater continued to be cast for major roles. The director said in an ORF interview on Monday that he had “got trapped” by Teichtmeister and that he deeply regretted it. According to Kušej, he has to admit that he was “caught cold” by the whole story in January 2023. Teichtmeister always asserted that the investigations were “on the right track and that there was nothing to the allegations. It was such a finely knit web of lies that I fell for it.” The theatre However, I will sue the actor for damages, since numerous performances had to be canceled because of him and there was massive damage to his image.

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