Prosecutors appeal decision to move man who raped his captive daughter

Posted at 10:52 AM, February 1, 2024

BERLIN (AP) — Austrian prosecutors have appealed a court decision that a man who kept his daughter captive for 24 years and raped her thousands of times, fathering seven children with her, can be moved from psychiatric detention to a regular prison.

Josef Fritzl, center, is escorted to the fourth day of his trial

FILE – Defendant Josef Fritzl, center, is escorted to the fourth day of his trial in the provincial courthouse in St. Poelten, Austria, Thursday, March 19, 2009.  (Robert Jaeger/Pool Photo via AP, file)

Ferdinand Schuster, a spokesperson for the state court in Krems, on Thursday confirmed a report by broadcaster ORF that prosecutors have challenged last week’s ruling in the case of Josef Fritzl and that a court in Vienna will now have to decide, the Austria Press Agency said.

RELATED: Austrian man who raped his captive daughter can be moved to a regular prison

The court in Krems ruled that Fritzl, 88, can be moved but stipulated that he must attend regular psychotherapy and undergo psychiatric evaluations during a 10-year probation period. A request to release him from detention was rejected.

His crime came to light in 2008. He was sentenced in 2009 to life imprisonment for committing incest, rape, coercion, false imprisonment, enslavement and negligent homicide of one of his infant sons.

Fritzl became known as the “monster of Amstetten” after the northern Austrian town where he locked up his then-18-year-old daughter in a sound-proofed basement of his house in 1984.

Over the next 24 years, he repeatedly raped her and fathered seven children with her, one of whom died.

The Krems court ruled that Fritzl, who now reportedly has dementia, could be moved to a regular prison based on a psychiatric assessment that he no longer poses a danger to society.

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