Woman held for 12 years forgives father

A WOMAN whose father is accused of imprisoning her for 12 years and fathering her seven children says she forgives him – and worries how she will care for her offspring if he is imprisoned, police in Brazil said yesterday.

Police said the 28-year-old woman told them she never rejected her father's sexual advances as she feared he would abandon her and the children.

Jose Agostinho Pereira, 54, is accused of keeping his daughter a virtual prisoner since 1998 in a thatched-roof hut outside a tiny fishing village in an area of Maranhao state so remote it can only be reached by canoe.

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Pereira, a subsistence farmer and fisherman, is also accused of abusing two of the young children he had with his daughter.

Police say he started abusing his daughter when she was 12 after his wife left. They had their first child four years later.

He was jailed on Tuesday in the city of Pinheiro. His daughter and the children are being cared for by the state's protective care services.

The exact ages of the four girls and three boys are not known as none of the births was registered but police believe they range from two months to 12 years.

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