Man Who Fathered Seven Children With Daughter Faces Possible Release

Man Who Fathered Seven Children With Daughter Faces Possible Release

The Austrian sex offender notorious for imprisoning his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathering seven children with her, Josef Fritzl, is reportedly being considered for a transfer from his current high-security prison, according to local media reports.

Now 88 years old, Fritzl was sentenced to life in 2009 in a case that sent shockwaves around the world. Austrian public broadcaster ORF reveals that a recent psychiatric assessment, taking into account Fritzl’s dementia, concludes that he no longer poses a danger to the public.

This development opens the possibility of a court decision to move him to a standard prison. Currently detained in a high-security facility for mentally disturbed offenders at Stein Prison in Krems an der Donau, Fritzl could potentially be relocated under the Austrian law that allows those serving life sentences to apply for conditional release after 15 years. This year marks the eligibility for parole for Fritzl under this provision.

Legal experts suggest that conditional release is also on the table, implying a move to a care home for Fritzl, who has changed his name since the conviction. Professor Alois Birklbauer, specializing in criminal law at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, remarked, “It is quite obvious that a dismissal will be announced,” in an interview with ORF.

In 2022, a regional court determined that Fritzl was “no longer a danger” and could be transferred to a standard jail. However, the Higher Regional Court in Vienna intervened, blocking the decision.

The Fritzl case, originating in Amstetten in 2008, stands as one of Austria’s most heinous criminal incidents. Fritzl was convicted of charges including murder through neglect, rape, incest, and enslavement of his daughter.

The victims, including Fritzl’s daughter and her children, have since assumed new identities for their protection. The situation remains a somber chapter in Austria’s criminal history. — BBC

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