THE chief suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is to be charged in relation to the rape of an Irish woman 17 years ago.
Hazel Behan was working as a holiday representative on the Algarve in June 2004 when she was violently assaulted.
It was two weeks before her 21st birthday.
The attack happened in Praia da Rocha, around 30km from the Praia da Luiz apartment where Madeleine McCann was abducted three years later.
German national Christian Brückner is the prime suspect for the three-year-old’s disappearance and is also suspected of the rape of Ms Behan (37).
She woke to a find man standing in her room with a machete before a prolongued sexual attack.
Prosecutors are to bring charges against Brückner in the next 12 weeks in relation to the attack.
When contacted by the Irish Independent, Ms Behan said she did not wish to comment at this time.
Hans Christian Wolters, leading the investigations into the rape of Ms Behan and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, said there were parallels in the crimes.
“The case against the suspect Christian B for the rape of Hazel Behan is in a good way, and it may be that we can charge him in the next three months,” he told The Sunday Times.
“I am very hopeful to bring a charge on this case. We are building a picture of Christian B and the methods he used to commit his crimes.”
Brückner, who can only be identified by German officials as Christian B due to the country’s strict privacy laws, is currently serving a seven-year jail term for the rape of a US woman (72) in 2005.
This is currently under appeal.
Brückner spent large amounts of time in the Algarve between 1995 to 2007 where he was a drifter.