'Italian Fritzl' was known to police and social workers
Children defend Michele Mongelli, alleged to have abused their sister for 25 years
Sunday 29 March 2009
The man who has been called "the Italian Josef Fritzl" after his daughter told police that he had confined her in the family home and abused her for 25 years, had frequent dealings with police and social workers, it emerged yesterday.
Yet neither the police who once arrested him and his son for theft, nor social workers who checked regularly on the progress of another deaf son, nor the parish priest told to mind his own business when he asked after the family, had any inkling of the horrors claimed to have taken place in the family home.
Michele Mongelli, 63, a scrap metal dealer in Turin, has been remanded in custody accused of abusing his daughter, whom police identified as "Laura", from the age of nine. Now 34, she is being cared for at an undisclosed facility.
Mr Mongelli's son Giuseppe, 40, is also in jail accused of abusing his own four daughters, aged between six and 20. In her statement to police made on 9 March, Laura said: "From when I was aged nine my father forced me to suffer sexual acts, touching my private parts, kissing me on the mouth, and from age 16 onwards forcing me to have full sexual intercourse with him."
Police said that Laura's claims were confirmed by telephone bugs, which recorded exchanges between father and daughter when the phone's handset was replaced incorrectly. The bugs also picked up Giuseppe Mongelli making obscene requests to his daughters.
There was no evidence that Michele Mongelli locked his daughter away from the sight of his other nine children and four grandchildren. And now the case is out in the public arena, some of his children are defending him fiercely. Laura's sister told reporters: "My father has never laid a finger on me. I kiss the ground he walks on." And Mr Mongelli's unnamed wife, also 63, said that the accusations against him were lies. "My husband works in metal," she said. "He goes round the markets, and he even went out thieving to keep his 10 children from going hungry. But he's never done any of these disgusting things."
Italian reporters who were admitted to the family's flat on the outskirts of Turin found a home full of crucifixes, images of St Padre Pio, stuffed toys, and photographs of the padre padrone. There was only a single photograph of Laura among the many family snaps on the wall, with short hair and sad, dead-looking eyes, La Stampa reported.
- 1 Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
- 2 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
Kim Jong-un is awarded global statesmanship prize by Indonesia
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Calais crisis: Migrants that have made it to the UK reveal how Britain has matched their expectations
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an I...
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...