No children born in Austria incest case

2011-08-26 15:00

Vienna - Austrian prosecutors investigating allegations that an 80-year-old man sexually abused his two mentally disabled daughters for 41 years said on Friday that no children were born of the incestuous relationship.

The question is relevant because of parallels to the case of Austrian Josef Fritzl, who imprisoned his daughter in a windowless cellar 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.

But state prosecutor Alois Ebner said that questioning of the 80-year-old's two daughters and other leads had not turned up any indications of offspring.

The man - from the Upper Austrian village of St Peter am Hart - is suspected of assault, torture or neglect of defenceless individuals, threat to life or physical condition, rape and other sex crimes.

Despite being questioned weeks ago about the allegations, he had been free and living in a senior citizens' home until police detained him on Thursday. On Friday, an investigative judge ordered that he remain in custody pending continued investigations.

Police said the man's daughters - now 53 and 45-years-old - have accused him of repeatedly raping them at their home between 1970 and May 2011. The women said their father frequently warned he would kill them if they resisted, occasionally threatening them with firearms and beating them with a stick and a pitchfork, police said.

Accusations denied

They also said that their mother, who died three years ago, was also repeatedly abused by the suspect.

The father has denied the accusations.

Police have not identified the suspect or his daughters. But a village resident who refused to give his name, said the father worked as a road maintenance worker for the region.

The women told police that they escaped when their father fell and was unable to get up after the older daughter pushed him during the last attempted rape.

It was unclear why it took for so long for the allegations to become public.

Police were initially quoted as saying the daughters did not tell anyone about the alleged abuse until weeks after their escape. But authorities later said a social worker who discovered the father two days after he fell went to police a few days later, after the women had told her their story.

Decades-long martyrdom

Police and local media originally said the suspect had kept the victims locked in a small room for 41 years, but later revised that version, suggesting they had limited freedom of movement even though all three slept in one small room of their spacious and well-kept dwelling,

"They were seen in and around the house," local police commander Martin Pumberger told state broadcaster ORF. "But the daughters were prohibited from any and all social contact."

Pumberger said that the women's accusations "are believable", adding that they "are relieved that they were able to speak about their decades-long martyrdom".

  • JJ - 2011-08-26 15:19

    This is just sickening - how can one even notice your own child in such a different way....Some real sick people out there. What beats me is , how can a mom really not know , she only died a few years ago...Surely you must pick up some suspicious "movement" within the house at one or other time

      Reason - 2011-08-26 16:24

      You're right, this is sick, but read the article properly, the mother was also a victim of the abuse. They were all in survival mode for 41 years. The mother was probably already being abused before the girls were born and was not a fully functioning human being because of it. People who have never had to face this kind of mental, physical, emotional and sexual torture over an extended period by a person who is supposed to love and protect cannot imagine how the physche is affected and how the brain manages to cope by shutting off many natural instincts like being willing to kill to protect their children. This kind of thing is the absolute worst crime that can possibly be committed and should be treated as such - kill the bastard and don't bother about how humane it is, just get slime like this off the face of this planet.

  • Optimus-Prime - 2011-08-26 15:24

    Josef should have gotten the death penalty, and who gives a F@ck if this 80 year old fathered children or not, he still raped his own child. i just want to know who on this forum will now draw parallels between this behaviour and race, or how civilized a group of people is.

  • Matt :-) - 2011-08-26 15:37

    Just wondering why there are now 2 extreme cases from Austria? I know of one in the UK about 3 years ago about a man so obsessed with claiming child benefit that he repeatedly raped his daughters and had 19 children by them (because 19x £20.30 a week tax-free is a lot of money). Too sick for words. A loving father would kill and be killed for his child; I just can't understand as a parent myself how ANY father could ever do this to their own flesh and blood!

  • sabc10 - 2011-08-26 16:00

    Sick european...every two or three years they get "exposed"

      Matt :-) - 2011-08-26 16:12

      Let's conveniently forget the occasional stories of goat-molesting in SA hey...

  • Hedda-Louise - 2011-08-26 16:54

    This is Austrian society for many of you.Close-knit and covering up "because nothing is wrong with them".Many Austrians as well as Europeans still think they're the chosen few and therefore they can do anything everywhere.The degree of backwardness in the EU is alarming

      darkwing - 2011-08-26 20:15

      Austria used to be heaven for old Nazis hiding away as well.

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