A GERMAN man admitted fathering at least seven children with his stepdaughter yesterday as his trial opened in Koblenz.
He faces charges of abusing his stepdaughter, his daughter and his stepson for more than 20 years and forcing the two girls into prostitution.
The 48-year-old man, identified only as Detlef S in line with German privacy rules, is charged with 350 counts of sexually abusing minors in his care between 1987 and 2010, and with 35 counts of facilitating sexual acts with minors.
He faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
The defendant began abusing his twin stepchildren in 1987 when they were around four years old, according to the indictment.
He began molesting his daughter, who is now 18, when she was nine. On her 12th birthday, he forced her to have sex with him for the first time.
After that, he continued to regularly sexually assault her, prosecutors told the court.
No plea was entered as the trial opened, which is normal for German proceedings, but defence lawyer Thomas Dueber read a statement in which the defendant admitted to being the father of his stepdaughter's seven children.
Prosecutors said DNA samples confirmed that. An eighth child died before DNA tests could be carried out.
The judge said prosecutors were also now investigating whether the suspect assaulted one of the daughters he had with his stepdaughter. The child was born in 2004.
Judges cleared the courtroom of spectators and heard the stepdaughter's testimony behind closed doors.
Detlef S, a truck driver who lived with the family in the small town of Fluterschen, near Bonn, did not address the court.
Outside the courtroom, Mr Dueber said: "He acknowledged paternity. . . but paternity is not part of the indictment. He is innocent until proven guilty."
Detlef S is also accused of forcing his daughter and stepdaughter to have sex with other men for money.
The trial continues today.