Alleged abuser ‘did not father children with his daughters’

AUSTRIAN prosecutors investigating suspicions that an 80-year-old man sexually abused his two mentally disabled daughters for 41 years said yesterday that no children were born of the alleged incestuous relationships.

The case has parallels to that of another 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 man’s two daughters and other leads had not turned up any indications of offspring.

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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. He denies the allegations. Despite being questioned weeks ago, he had been free and living in a senior citizens’ home until police detained him on Thursday. Yesterday, an investigative judge ordered that he remain in custody at least until 9 September 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 warned he would kill them if they resisted, occasionally threatening them with firearms and beating them with a stick and a pitchfork, police said.