Friday 23 June 2017

Austrian man kept disabled daughters as 'sex slaves'

Olaf VanErnst in Vienna

In a case with horrifying similarities to Josef Fritzl, an 85-year-old man has been accused of locking his two daughters up and abusing them for four decades.

The Austrian man has been accused of locking up his two mentally disabled daughters and using them as sex slaves for 41 years.

Police said that the man, who has not been named, repeatedly raped the women between 1970 and May 2011.

The alleged victims are now 53 and 45 years old.

The women escaped when their father was unable to get up after the older daughter pushed him over when he last tried to rape her, according to Austrian media.

The sisters allegedly fled as their father lay unable to seek help for two days until he was found by a social worker.

Their escape is believed to have taken place several weeks ago, but the women did not tell anyone about their ordeal until recently.

The claims evoked 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.

Weapons

The new accused, who lives near the northern town of Braunau, kept the women locked in a small kitchen with only a wooden bench as a bed, police said.

A police statement claimed he repeatedly told his daughters he would kill them and threatened them with weapons.

The man banned his daughters from having "any social contact", the statement added.

Police said the suspect was free because there was no danger of him fleeing.

He is believed to be in a home for the elderly.

A senior state police official said the father -- 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.

The official said the man would be questioned by an investigative judge within the next 48 hours, who will decide whether to keep him confined.

The women said that their mother, who died several years ago, was also repeatedly abused by the suspect.

The father has denied the accusations.

Police and local media had 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.

"They were seen in and around the house," the police said.

Irish Independent

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