Daughters change story, 'incest' dad freed

2011-09-10 16:00

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Vienna - An 80-year-old Austrian man held for about two weeks on suspicion that he regularly raped his daughters for 41 years has been freed after the two women changed their story, prosecutors said.

Until Friday's stunning development, the case was described as having parallels to that of Josef Fritzl, another Austrian serving a life sentence for fathering seven children with his daughter in a windowless cellar.

Any similarities appeared to be rapidly dissolving, however.

The women in the latest case still say they were sexually molested but were now blaming another man - not their father - for the alleged assaults, which they say happened some time in the past, said the state prosecutor's office.

That version is now being checked, a prosecutor's statement from the Upper Austrian city of Ried said. Now 53 and 45, the women have been described by officials as having mental disabilities - one to a slight degree, the other more severely affected.

In the Fritzl case, the Austrian imprisoned his daughter for 24 years and repeatedly raped her, fathering her seven children. Fritzl was sentenced to life imprisonment two years ago for that crime and for responsibility in the death of one of the children.

No one had been charged in the latest case, however. The man was detained August 25 pending investigations by state prosecutors after local police had questioned the women and said their testimony was believable.

The two had accused their father of repeatedly raping them at their home between 1970 and May 2011. They said he warned he would kill them if they resisted, occasionally threatening them with firearms and beating them with a stick and a pitchfork, police said.

- AP

Read more on:    josef fritzl  |  austria
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