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Austrian incest suspect freed

The two adult sisters still say they were sexually molested but now say that another man — not their father — was responsible.

Outside view of the house in St. Peter am Hart, Upper Austria, taken on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, where police are investigating allegations that a man imprisoned his two mentally retarded daughters and sexually abused them for 41 years.
Outside view of the house in St. Peter am Hart, Upper Austria, taken on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, where police are investigating allegations that a man imprisoned his two mentally retarded daughters and sexually abused them for 41 years.
Image: AP Photo/dapd, Rudolf Brandstaetter

AN 80-YEAR-OLD Austrian man held for around two weeks on suspicion that he regularly raped his daughters for 41 years has been freed after the women changed their story, prosecutors said Friday.

The two women still say they were sexually molested but now say that another man — not their father — was responsible and that the alleged assaults happened sometime in the past, the state prosecutor’s office said.

A statement from the prosecutor’s office in the Upper Austrian city of Ried said that version is now being checked and the original suspect has been released, without specifying when he was set free.

Now 53 and 45 years old, the two women have been described by officials as having mental disabilities — one to a slight degree, the other more severely affected.

Until Friday’s stunning development, the case appeared to have had parallels to that of another Austrian, Josef Fritzl, who imprisoned his daughter in a windowless cellar for 24 years and repeatedly raped her, fathering her seven children. Fritzl was sentenced to life imprisonment two years ago for that crime and for responsibility in the death of one of the children.

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