Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Daughter testifies in incest dungeon trial

Posted by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 8:01 PM
  • 12 Replies

Fritzl daughter testifies in incest case

  • Incest rapist Josef Fritzl in Austrian court for the second day of his trial
  • Fritzl drops his guard, is pictured without binder obscuring his face
  • Austrian accused of keeping daughter in cellar for decades, fathering her 7 children
  • Daughter Elisabeth give pre-recorded videotaped evidence
  •  

    ST. POELTEN, Austria (CNN) -- The daughter of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian man accused of keeping her in a cellar for decades and fathering her seven children, testified against him by video at his trial Tuesday.

    Josef Fritzl is seen without his face covered and surrounded by security guards Tuesday.

    Josef Fritzl is seen without his face covered and surrounded by security guards Tuesday.

    One of Elisabeth Fritzl's brothers, Harald, also testified by video, a court spokesman said. The media and public have been barred from the courtroom for sensitive parts of the trial.

    Fritzl has pleaded guilty to incest and other charges, but denied murder and enslavement.

    He pleaded "partly guilty" -- an option in Austrian court -- to multiple charges of raping his daughter, Franz Cutka, a spokesman for the court in Landesgericht St. Poelten, said. A verdict is expected on Thursday, Cutka said.

    Elisabeth testified on an 11-hour videotape. Portions of the tape were played Monday, and Fritzl was asked about it. The remainder of the tape was played Tuesday, officials said.

    Authorities have said Elisabeth and her children were given new identities and are in a secret location.

    Details of her testimony were not made clear at the daily afternoon news conference.

    Asked at the news conference why other family members have not testified, officials said they did not wish to do so. Video Watch media at Fritzl trial »

    The murder charge relates to an infant named Michael Fritzl who died soon after birth, allegedly from lack of medical care, State Prosecutor Gerhard Sedlacek says.

    A neo-natal expert gave evidence Tuesday in relation to the murder charge.

    As he had Monday when the trial opened, Fritzl concealed his face behind a file binder as he arrived in court to shield himself from reporters, television cameras and photographers and escorted by a phalanx of police officers.

    Later Tuesday he dropped his guard and was pictured with the binder by his side, talking to security guards.

    During the trial, prosecutors have painted a chilling picture of the more than two decades Elisabeth spent in the cellar of the family home in Amstetten with three of her children.

    Fritzl took three other children upstairs, authorities have said, telling his wife and other relatives that the missing Elisabeth had dropped them at the house.

    The woman and the remaining children never saw daylight, prosecutors said, and Fritzl went away for long periods of time, causing them to go hungry when he did not bring them food. Video Watch Fritzl's first day in court »

    To punish them, prosecutors said, Fritzl sometimes turned the power off in the cellar for up to 10 days. In addition, they alleged, Elisabeth was often sexually assaulted in front of the children.

    The case first came to light in April 2008 when Elisabeth's then-19-year-old daughter, Kerstin, became seriously ill with convulsions, and Elisabeth persuaded her father to allow the girl to be taken to a hospital.

    Hospital staff became suspicious and alerted police, who discovered the family members in the cellar.

    Police said Fritzl confessed to them that he had sex with his daughter, kept her and their children in captivity, and burned the body of the infant in an oven in the house. Elisabeth told police the infant was one of twins, and died a few days after birth.

    When Elisabeth gained her freedom, she told police her father began sexually abusing her at age 11. Seven years later, she said, he drugged, handcuffed and locked her in the cellar.

    To back up his story that she had run away, Fritzl forced Elisabeth to write letters, authorities have said.

    Defense attorney Rudolph Mayer has said his client, 73, expects to spend the rest of his life in prison.

    Under Austrian law, if Fritzl is convicted on several offenses, he will be given the sentence linked to the worst crime. The charges he faces are:

    Murder: The infant who died in 1996 died from a lack of medical care, the state prosecutor said. The charge carries a sentence of life in prison.

    Involvement in slave trade: From 1984 until 2008, prosecutors allege, Fritzl held his daughter, Elisabeth, captive in a dungeon, abused her sexually and treated her as if she were his personal property -- in a situation similar to slavery. If he is convicted, the sentence could range from 10 to 20 years in prison.

    Rape: Between August 30, 1984, and June 30, 1989, Fritzl "regularly sexually abused Elisabeth," according to the prosecutor. The sentence could be from five to 15 years in prison.

    Incest: Parallel to the rape charge. It carries a sentence of up to one year.

    Withdrawal of liberty: Three of the children Fritzl had with Elisabeth were illegally held captive in a dungeon with no daylight or fresh air, according to prosecutors. That charge carries a sentence of one to 10 years.

    Assault: Between August 28, 1984, and April 26, 2006, Fritzl repeatedly threatened Elisabeth and their three children with gas and booby traps as warnings in case they tried to escape, authorities allege. The sentence would range from six months to five years.

     

     

     


    Feel free to join us on these CafeMom Groups:

    The CafeMom  Newcomers ClubThe CafeMom Newcomers Club     Current Events & Hot TopicsCurrent Events & Hot Topics  
    Advice for MomsAdvice for Moms 
      Kids, Fun & Photos!Kids, Fun & Photos!   The Cafe @ CafeMomThe Cafe @ CafeMom


     

    by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 8:01 PM
    Add your quick reply below:
    You must be a member to reply to this post.
    Replies (1-10):
    MommyOnLI
    by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 8:06 PM

    Ok what he did was horrible and no words can describe the disgust i feel, but if he fathered 7 children, 1 died and 3 were held captive what happened to the other 3?

    forsythia_18
    by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 8:10 PM


    Quoting MommyOnLI:

    Ok what he did was horrible and no words can describe the disgust i feel, but if he fathered 7 children, 1 died and 3 were held captive what happened to the other 3?


    The other three were kept upstairs with the grandparents/father...ew.  The father/grandfather made the daughter write a fake letter saying that she had joined some religious sect and that she was producing too many children so she "sent" some of the kids to them.  It's so twisted.  terrible.

    MommyOnLI
    by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 8:24 PM


    Quoting forsythia_18:


    Quoting MommyOnLI:

    Ok what he did was horrible and no words can describe the disgust i feel, but if he fathered 7 children, 1 died and 3 were held captive what happened to the other 3?


    The other three were kept upstairs with the grandparents/father...ew.  The father/grandfather made the daughter write a fake letter saying that she had joined some religious sect and that she was producing too many children so she "sent" some of the kids to them.  It's so twisted.  terrible.

    WOW i am blind i read the article 3x and now that you pointed that out i saw it...

    chattymama92
    by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 9:10 PM

    Too bad they don't have the death penalty. For bottom feeders like this, any punishment would seem "soft", but for the lives he destroyed, he should have to give his. JMO. 

    pooh_23350
    by New Member on Mar. 18, 2009 at 9:01 AM

    how in world did the wife not know what was going on in her own home?

    MegRob
    by on Mar. 18, 2009 at 9:06 AM

    OMG...when i first read this...I GAGGED.  I cant even fathom going through something like this that the daughter had to endure.

     

    Melbornj
    by on Mar. 18, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    As another poster said how the heck did his wife not know waht was going on?  I have to wonder if she wasn't turning a blind eye to what was going on in her own house?  And will she get charged with anything?  I mean 20 years and it wasn't like it was in another location at a far distance from the house.  Maybe he will get a dose of his own medicine by being locked up for the rest of his life, although it certainly does not equate to what his poor daughter and her children had to endure.  My heart goes out to her and her children, I dont' know what would be worse for a mother having your children taken away from you at birth or knowing that they are going to spend their lives in such an environment.  I just cannot fathom this on so many level.  I hope that wherever she is that she has been reunited with her little ones so that they can begin the healing process.

    ellyc19111
    by Bronze Member on Mar. 18, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    I agree with the posts that couldn't figure out how the wife couldn't have known. OK. So the girl was kept in a dungeon. That's one thing. I question, were there toilet facilities down there? And if not, wouldn't the stench arising from it cause suspicion? Was it an air-tight dungeon where the cries of children went unheard?  And you mean to tell me the mother never ever went down there? Something, besides the father, isn't right here!

    blackcat1o2
    by Member on Mar. 18, 2009 at 4:04 PM

    no punishment is good enough for this guy. nothing could amount to what he did to his daughter and the irreversible damage he did to her children as well. this makes me want to puke...


    mushmom
    by on Mar. 18, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    what a disgustingly sick old bastard!  no punishment would be harsh enough.  think of what his daughter has to live with for the rest of her life!

    Add your quick reply below:
    You must be a member to reply to this post.
    Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
    Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

    (minimum 6 characters)