Court convicts 'German Fritzl'

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The Independent Online

A German truck driver who fathered eight children with his stepdaughter and peddled her body to other men was convicted Tuesday of 162 counts of sexual abuse by a judge who called him a "pitiless egoist" and handed down a sentence that could keep the man locked away for life.

Judge Winfried Hetger gave the 48-year-old man identified only as Detlef S. a 14 1/2-year sentence, but ruled that he should remain imprisoned indefinitely because of a high risk that he could offend again if released. His lawyer had asked for a sentence of 9 1/2 years, and could appeal within a week.



The suspect was found guilty of abuse that started in 1987 and lasted until 2010 in the village of Fluterschen, near Bonn — starting with the molestation of his stepson and stepdaughter when they were four and six years old, Hetger said.



"This is about a pitiless egoist. He viewed his family as his property," the judge said of Detlef S., who showed no emotion while his sentence was pronounced. His full identity was not released to protect the identities of the victims.



The man's stepson Bjoern B. and Bjoern's sister, Natascha S., were shaken after the verdict but said they welcomed it.



"Today is a day of truth, a day of justice," said Bjoern B., now 28. "Now we will see how we can continue our lives."



The trucker was found guilty on 70 counts of sexually abusing children under age 14, 63 counts of abuse of minors and 29 counts of facilitating prostitution, Hetger said. There is no consecutive sentencing in Germany.



The defendant has been in custody since August, when his daughter came forward to authorities.



Natascha was first raped by Detlef S. at age 12. Three weeks after her 12th birthday, her stepfather started bringing men to have sex with her in return for money, the judge said. Over the years Detlef S. had eight children with her, and one died in infancy.



Detlef S. was also convicted of abusing his daughter, now 18.



"When she was 12 years old he took her into a forest and raped her inside his Toyota Corolla," the judge said. "He explained to her that this was something really great."



Detlef S. continued to rape his daughter in his car in the forest every two months or so and forced her to have sex with other men who paid, the judge said. Two of the men face separate sexual abuse charges trials involving their alleged abuse of the girl, Hetger said.



"Jasmine today is completely torn apart. She told the court that she still loves her father," Hetger said.



The judge said the court was convinced that the defendant was "not mentally ill, but a criminal." Detlef S. agreed to pay his daughter and his stepdaughter compensation, the judge said, though the amount was not disclosed.



Prosecutor Thorsten Kahl characterized the sentence as particularly harsh for Germany but said it was necessary because Detlef S. poses such a high risk as a potential reoffender.

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