Australian 'Fritzl' held for daughter rape

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A man has been charged with raping his daughter for 30 years from age 11 and fathering her four children in Australia.







The case in Victoria drew immediate comparisons with that of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who was convicted in March of holding his daughter captive for 24 years, repeatedly raping her and fathering seven children.



Police refused to give details of the Australian case because of a court order.



But media reports said the man was accused of raping his daughter since the 1970s when she was 11 years old, threatening her with violence against her mother. He was arrested in February after the woman approached police.



The man has denied rape and prosecutors are awaiting DNA tests to prove if he fathered the children.



State premier John Brumby said he was aware that the allegations spanned three decades, but that he would not comment further because he did not want to prejudice the trial.



"Any crime of this type is one that is shocking and is personally repulsive to me and other Victorians," he said. "It's a terrible case. It brings to all of us the worst possible thoughts about families and what might have occurred in cases like this."



The suspect, in his 60s, will face five charges of rape, five of incest, two of indecent assault and one of common assault when he appears in court in November.



His wife, also the victim's mother, denied any knowledge of the abuse, reports said, adding neighbours and child welfare authorities also failed to act on suspicions about the man.



"We lived in a big house, so I wouldn't have known," she told a newspaper. "He had a very sharp tongue. He was a drinker."



All four children were apparently born with health problems and one of them has died.



The daughter first told police about the alleged abuse in 2005, but no charges were filed because she said she feared for her safety and would not cooperate with police.

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