Languages
Page last updated at 11:13 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 12:13 UK

Australia father faces rape trial

Map

Australian police have charged a man with a series of sex offences in a case which has drawn comparisons to that of Austrian Josef Fritzl.

Australian media said the man, in his 60s, had been charged with rape and incest allegedly committed against his daughter over a period of 30 years.

Prosecutors will allege DNA tests prove the man is the father of his daughter's four children, reports say.

Fritzl was convicted of raping and imprisoning his daughter for 24 years.

Police in Victoria state, where the man was arrested in February, would not give any further details because of a court suppression order.

Australia's ABC News said the man, who has not been named, has been charged with five counts of rape, five of incest, two of indecent assault and one count of common assault.

The trial will start in November, ABC said.

Birth certificates

Other reports say the man was arrested in February after his daughter spoke to police last year. The police then apparently began their investigations, including the DNA tests.

He is reported to have lived in the Latrobe Valley, east of Melbourne, with his wife, daughter and her children.

The Herald Sun newspaper said all four children had been born in Melbourne hospitals with health problems. One died soon after birth. None of the children had a father listed on their birth certificates, the newspaper said.

The allegations have shocked Australians, coming a day after a report highlighted failings in Victoria's child protection services.

Victoria's Premier John Brumby said he could not comment of the specifics of the case because the suspect was in custody awaiting trial.

"I think it's very important that nothing is said that might prejudice judicial proceedings.

"Any crime of this type is one that is shocking and is personally repulsive to me and other Victorians, and any crime that did occur in our state of this type would be met with the full force of the law," he said.

Government inquiry

His government has ordered an urgent investigation into how much authorities knew of the man before he was arrested.

"I don't know what, or if any, involvement the police, the department [of human services] or other agencies have [had] over the last 30 years," said Victoria's Community Services Minister Lisa Neville.

Austrian Josef Fritzl was convicted in March of imprisoning his daughter for 24 years, repeatedly raping her and fathering seven children with her.

In California, a couple have been charged with kidnapping an 11-year-old and holding her for 18 years while the man had two children with her.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Fritzl moved to long-term prison
03 Jun 09 |  Europe
Garridos in missing girls probe
16 Sep 09 |  Americas
Incest accusations shock Colombia
30 Mar 09 |  Americas


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific