Ex-Germany defender Metzelder gets suspended sentence for child pornography

Former Germany defender Christoph Metzelder has been issued with a 10-month suspended sentence for distributing child pornography.

The 40-year-old Metzelder admitted to the bulk of the public prosecutor's charges as his trial began at Dusseldorf District Court on Thursday.

Metzelder had been accused of possessing child and youth pornography and of forwarding 29 files to three women.

The court found the case proven on the first day as he admitted to 26 of those instances.

He was also convicted on one charge of possession, news agency dpa reported.

The prosecutor told the court, for example, that Metzelder in August 2019 sent photos showing the sexual abuse of girls under 10 years old, dpa reported.

Metzelder enjoyed a successful playing career with Preuben Munster, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Schalke.

He made 47 appearances for Germany, helping them to second place finishes at the 2002 World Cup and 2008 European Championship.

After retirement, Metzelder worked briefly as a pundit for broadcaster ARD.

Metzelder stepped down as president of hometown club TuS Haltern in September 2019 when the allegations against him were made public.

He initially denied the charges. The sentence can be appealed.

The court had set aside follow-up dates of May 4 and 10 for the trial.

It took place amid strict hygiene measures against the coronavirus.