News24

Murder alleged at Vienna abuse home

2011-10-18 15:16

Vienna - The scandal over alleged serious abuse at a Vienna foster home widened on Tuesday, when a victims' lawyer alleged that at least one child was killed there some 60 years ago, in addition to the serial rapes reported by his clients.

On the weekend, two sisters represented by lawyer Johannes Oehlboeck described a system of physical, psychological and sexual abuse that had been rampant at the now-closed Schloss Wilhelminenberg home in the 1970s.

The lawyer said a third woman told him she witnessed the death of a fellow foster child while she was at the home between 1948 and 1953 and said she indirectly knew of several other similar deaths.

She also confirmed that there had been the type of abuse as described by the sisters.

"Children died. The victim described this very authentically," Oehlboeck told reporters.

The woman, who is in her 70s, gave the name of the victim and alleged perpetrator in the case she witnessed.

The sisters, now aged 49 and 47, said sexual crimes against them and many others were committed by male staff and up to seven other men who were regularly invited at night.

The city of Vienna, who ran the home, on Monday set up a special inquiry commission, in addition to a panel that has probed similar crimes at public institutions since last year.