A 62-year-old Argentine man was arrested and charged with raping his daughter for more than 30 years and fathering 10 children with her, in a case “even worse” than that of Austria’s Josef Fritzl in 2008, says a judge.
“The accused denied the allegations but DNA tests have confirmed paternity,” Judge Virgilio Palud told local radio.
The man has been charged with repeated sexual abuse and incest, crimes which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, he added.
The man, whose identity was not disclosed, was arrested in June for alleged cattle rustling, prompting his daughter, now aged 43, to report him to the police despite his threats of harm if she talked. The case was first reported on Wednesday.
The daughter, whose identity was also not released, claims to have been beaten and raped since the age of 13 at the family’s home in the village of Nicanor Molinas, 600 kilometers north of Buenos Aires.
She said the incestuous rapes resulted in 10 children, now ages seven to 27, and that only the eldest knows their father and grandfather are one and the same, Palud said.
“It’s even worse than what happened in Austria,” he added, referring to the horrific crimes of Josef Fritzl, sentenced to life in 2009 for having kept his daughter imprisoned for 24 years, fathering seven children with her and killing one of them.
In the Argentine case, one of the 10 children born of the rapes has already died.
Palud said another daughter of the suspect also claims to have been raped repeatedly by her father and to have had an abortion before she fled her home in the farming community of Santa Fe province.
The case is the third such shocking father-daughter abuse to emerge in Argentina recently.
Last year, the case of the “Monster of Mendoza” gripped Argentina, when a 67-year-old man was accused of raping and fathering seven children with one of his three daughters.
And last month, a 60-year old man in central Cordoba province was charged with having raped his daughter over a period of 20 years and fathered six children with her, including a girl — his own granddaughter — whom he was also raping.
The latest rape and incest case “is remarkable for the amount of violence and the length of time it lasted,” but “in Reconquista (near Nicanor Molinas) and northern Santa Fe, sexual abuse within families is commonplace,” said Palud.
He said in Vera, another city in Santa Fe, “they had to build a special prison wing to house sexual offenders”.