Munich (dpa) – He is said to have abused his own daughter as a child, repeatedly raped her as an adult and even fathered a child with her: A process began in Munich on Monday that is somewhat reminiscent of that of the Austrian Josef Fritzl. A 75-year-old man is on trial for raping his own daughter 288 times.
And that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg. Only cases that have not yet become statute-barred and for which the German judiciary is responsible are charged. Because the Italian family lives in Sicily for many years. What may have happened there would fall within the purview of the Italian authorities.
According to the prosecutor, the Sicilian is said to have started molesting his daughter when she was just a small child and only seven years old. The woman, who according to prosecutors is now in her mid-50s, is said to have died in the late 1990s, even having gotten a kind from her own father.
The old man denies the allegations: “Not true, not everything,” he explains at the start of the trial on Monday before the Munich I district court. “I would like to say that these are all lies.”
He calls his daughter a stepdaughter. He does not deny that he had sex with her. “I asked her if she was interested,” he says. “I never raped her.” Everything was “voluntary”. And if there were sexual acts in her childhood, then it was his daughter who was lying between him and his wife in the marriage bed.
The daughter was “exposed to regular sexual and physical assaults by her father” for decades until the man was arrested in November 2020, according to the indictment, which accuses the man of rape in 288 cases.
The case is somewhat reminiscent of that of the Austrian Josef Fritzl, who repeatedly raped his own daughter for decades, locked her in an underground apartment and fathered several children with her.
Unlike Fritzl, however, the accused in Munich did not need a dungeon for his crimes, according to the public prosecutor. The father not only beat and raped the daughter again and again, but “controlled almost every area of her life”. He made sure “to systematically isolate the injured party from their environment as early as childhood, so that they were not able to build up long-term social ties with anyone other than the accused.”
If she made contact with classmates or work colleagues, her father is said to have hit her again and again. He is said to have driven her to work and waited there in front of the door until she finished work. According to the accusation, he spent all her breaks with her, photographed her through the shop window at work, checked her cell phone and her emails. The public prosecutor speaks of a “decades-long climate of violence and hopelessness”.
In the end, it was the woman’s family who ended the alleged ordeal and called the police. The Munich I Regional Court has scheduled four days of hearing for the process. The verdict could therefore have fallen on January 26th.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220116-99-731838/7