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Posts Tagged ‘Andrea Humer’

Josef Fritzl Gets Life Sentence

Posted by shadmia on March 20, 2009

Fritzl with Eyes ClosedFritzl EyesEyes Up

“I regret from the bottom of my heart what I have done to my family. Unfortunately, I cannot make amends for it. I can only try to look for possibilities to try to limit the damage that’s been done.”

Those were the last words spoken by Josef Fritzl before the court at St Pölten passed judgment on him. They found him guilty on all 6 counts: rape, deprivation of liberty, incest, coercion, slavery and murder. His punishment: Life imprisonment.

Court representatives said Fritzl appeared ‘composed‘ as his sentence was read out. He immediately accepted the sentence, as did the prosecution, meaning that it is legally binding and ruling out any right of appeal.

Fritzl’s defense lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, confirmed that Elisabeth had been present for part of the trial.

‘This is what triggered the agitation that led him to confess,’ Mayer told German N-TV news channel, referring to his client’s surprising change of heart.

Catch the story from the beginning in this 5-part video called The Josef Fritzl Story and read about developments in the case since being arrested and imprisoned on The Josef Fritzl Page.

The life sentence would entail a minimum of 15 years in prison, according to Franz Cutka, vice president of St Pölten courts. The 11 months he has already spent incarcerated would count towards that sentence. On the advice of Adelheid Kastner, the forensic psychiatrist who spent 25 hours evaluating Fritzl’s mental health, he will first be sent to the Mittersteig prison in Vienna for an evaluation. Afterward, Fritzl may then be transferred to another prison or psychiatric institution. Kastner told the jury that locking him up without therapy and treatment could be dangerous, and that there was a real risk he would try to take his own life. She also said that Fritzl had a serious personality disorder and would pose a threat to others if freed. He remains under a suicide watch.

“He has the right to voice an opinion on where he should be sent, but this wish has to tally with any expert opinion and with the directorate of the prison,” said Huber-Günsthofer the deputy director of St Pölten prison, where Fritzl has been held since his arrest last April.

There was never really any doubt of Fritzl’s guilt, even his lawyer, Rudolf  Mayer, admitted that Fritzl had raped his daughter 3,000 times, but his fate was sealed when Fritzl changed his plea to guilty on all counts, including the “murder by neglect” of his infant son, Michael. This was the most serious charge against him and it was this charge that earned him the life sentence.

“The life sentence was a consequence of his confession,” Mayer told reporters after the jury’s decision. “After confessing to 3,000 instances of rapes, 24 years of captivity in a cellar, plus murder, it’s obvious that such a sentence will be handed down.”

At a news conference after the verdict, court officials said Elisabeth could bring a separate civil case against Fritzl to seek damages for her suffering, adding there was no limit to what she could request. They said the Austrian government would join in on bankruptcy proceedings that Fritzl recently initiated, and said the process could involve selling his seven real estate holdings — including the house in Amstetten where he held his daughter. They also said Fritzl would have to secure permission from Austria’s Justice Ministry if he wanted to write and sell his memoirs.

Amstetten’s mayor verbalized the unspoken thoughts of the people of his town – and perhaps for most Austrians – who for almost a year came under the intense attention of the entire world when he said:

‘A dark chapter in the history of our town is now closed,’ said Amstetten Mayor Herbert Katzengruber after the guilty verdict was announced. ‘We all hoped it would turn out this way.’

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Posted in Child Abuse, Incest, news, Our World, Rape, world | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

The Josef Fritzl Trial – Day 3 – Guilty!

Posted by shadmia on March 19, 2009

Rudolf MayerFritzl at CourtJudge Andrea Humer

“I recognize that I am guilty of all the charges presented,” he said. “I regret what I’ve done.” With those words, Josef Fritzl ended any further reason to continue with his trial. He uttered those words in front of  judge Andrea Humer at the beginning of the third day of his trial. Catch the story from the beginning in this 5-part video called The Josef Fritzl Story and read about developments in the case since being arrested and imprisoned on The Josef Fritzl Page.

Asked what had made him change his mind so suddenly, and prompted him to admit to the charges of murder and slavery that he had previously rejected, Fritzl said: “Because of the video testimony of my daughter.”

Under questioning by judge Andrea Humer with regards to the murder charge, Fritzl admitted that he was present when the twins were born and confessed he knew Michael had breathing problems. Baby Michael lived for 66 hours and Judge Humer told Fritzl that was more than enough time to see there was a severe health problem and seek medical help.

“I don’t know why I did not help. I was hoping he would get through it,” Fritzl told the hushed courtroom at Sankt Poelten, Austria. “I should have done something. I simply failed to do so. I was of the opinion the little one would survive.”

Before pleading guilty to all six charges against him: rape, deprivation of liberty, incest, coercion, slavery and murder Josef Fritzl did not even bother to inform his lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, but he did request to see a psychiatrist after leaving court the evening before.

“He asked to see a psychiatrist afterwards, so crushed was he. The testimony which he saw for the first time had a profoundly devastating effect on him and led to the change of direction in this trial.”

Rudolf Mayer’s client had not informed him in advance of his decision to plead guilty, he said:

“I was indeed surprised, not least because someone with such a personality disorder as he has – which involves keeping up appearances and giving the impression that he’s the one with the power – finds it difficult to drop his trousers in front of the world.”

Until his confession, Fritzl had stubbornly refused to admit that he had caused Elisabeth much suffering, arguing instead that he had saved her from a life of ruin and debauchery when he lured her into the cellar at the age of 18.

Fritzl will face a sentence of between 20 years and life imprisonment. But it is possible that his confession will lead to a reduced sentence. “It all depends on whether the jury and the judges take the confession to be a mitigating circumstance,” said the vice-president of the court, Franz Cutka. The verdict and sentencing are expected in tomorrow’s session.

Fritzl is on a suicide watch, meaning at the end of each day’s court sessions guards remove his tie and belt to ensure he cannot use them to harm himself. There were unconfirmed reports that Elisabeth was in court and that Fritzl made eye contact with her the day before he changed his plea. The pair had not met since Fritzl’s reign of terror was exposed and he was arrested last April at his home in Amstetten.

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Elisabeth Fritzl Talks About Her Dad

Posted by shadmia on September 12, 2008

Elisabeth Fritzl, 42, imprisoned and repeatedly raped for 24 years has begun to describe her life as a sex slave, kept alive only to serve the depraved sexual desires of her own father, Josef Fritzl. She bore him 7 children (6 of whom survived) while she was his captive in a dungeon built under his house. She and 4 of her 7 children had no contact with the outside world; they had no friends; they never once were allowed outside; they never even saw the sun; in fact nobody but Josef Fritzl even knew that they were alive.

On the 28 August, 1984, Josef Fritzl locked his daughter Elisabeth in the cellar of the family home in Amstetten, Austria. Her indescribable pain, suffering, humiliation and degradation would last 8,516 days until her release on the 26th April, 2008. See the complete story of their captivity and rescue in a 5 part video documentary entitled The Josef Fritzl Story.

As prosecutors prepare the case against Josef Fritzl, which will hopefully go to trial before the end of the year, his enslaved daughter, Elisabeth Fritzl, has given her testimony to Austria’s top female judge, Andrea Humer, excerpts of which were published in the Sun. In her interview with Ms Humer, Elisabeth said that her father threatened to leave them to rot in the cellar, which had no windows and was sealed by an electronically-locked door.

“He said he could close the door whenever he wanted and then we would soon see how we survived,” she said.

The judge asked: “Did you take these threats as real?” Elisabeth replied: “Yes.”

Elisabeth told the judge that she was raped up to three times a week by her father. She said that it was useless to resist because if she refused him, he would take it out on herself and the kids. He also threatened to leave her and the children to die in the cellar if they did not follow his commands.

“He was very brutal against me, and when I did not agree to have sex, then the kids would suffer. We knew he would kick us or be bad to us.”

Elisabeth said she tried to give her children as normal a life as possible in their captivity, locked away in the dungeon. Whenever her father was not around, she would entertain them by singing to them and telling them stories. But when her father came to visit, the entire atmosphere dramatically changed.

“When he went away we led our own lives. When he was down here it was all silence. When he came down to the cellar we just tried to survive. He was just all-powerful.

She said her father regularly bullied them into subdued silence, punishing them if they dared to answer back.

“He wouldn’t let the kids develop their own personalities. He didn’t like them to talk back. At the beginning, when they were small, it wasn’t such a problem. But as they got bigger and started developing a personality it was more of a problem. He did not like it and he tried to stop it. He would not allow the kids to have their own will.”

It has been reported that the children are unwilling to testify against their father, but with the detailed description provided by Elisabeth of her experiences, their testimony may not add anything of value to the prosecutor’s case.

Josef Fritzl himself gave an interview earlier to try and defend his actions. Fritzl maintains he acted out of love in imprisoning Elisabeth when she was 18 and keeping her in his cellar dungeon, where she was tortured and raped, giving birth to seven children.

“I grew up in the Nazi times, and that meant the need to be controlled and respect authority. Yet, despite that, I am not the monster that I am portrayed as in the media.”

Josef Fritzl would be hard pressed to find anyone who agrees with him. Along with his own admission of having sex with his daughter and her testimony to judge Andrea Humer, prosecutors are hoping to bring as many as 3,000 counts of rape against the 73-year-old Josef Fritzl. In fact they are also looking into adding manslaughter charges for Fritzl’s role in the death of one of his children, Michael, who died shortly after birth in 1997 and whose body Fritzl burned in an incinerator.

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Posted in Incest, news, Our World, Rape, Scandals, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, world | Tagged: , , , , | 48 Comments »

Elisabeth Fritzl Begins Testimony

Posted by shadmia on July 14, 2008

Elisabeth Fritzl, 42, who was imprisoned for 24 years by her father, Josef Fritzl, and bore him 7 children; has been given medical clearance to begin testifying about her ordeal. She has already begun to answer questions and will continue to do so in the coming week. Elisabeth has said that she never wants to see her father ever again…..not even at trial. So in order to accommodate her wishes, all of her testimony is being videotaped so that she will not be forced to confront him in court.

The trial of Josef Fritzl is scheduled to begin later this year in front of one of Austria’s most senior female judges, Andrea Humer, 48, who is considered to be an expert in sex crimes. However, under Austrian law, Elisabeth is being questioned by the investigative judge Christoph Bauer, and not the trial judge Andrea Humer. Neither the contents of the questioning nor the upcoming trial will be open to the public.

The actual questioning of Elisabeth is taking place in two separate rooms of the same building via a video link up. In one room will be Elisabeth and her lawyer Eva Plaz, along with judge Christoph Bauer. In the other room will be state prosecutor Christiane Burkheiser and Josef Fritzl’s lawyer Rudolf Mayer. Defense lawyer Rudolf Mayer is allowed to ask questions, but his client, Josef Fritzl, who is also entitled to attend, has waived his right to be there. Rudolf Mayer, said: “My client will definitely not attend the questioning.” Elisabeth’s two oldest children, who spent their entire lives in the cellar, Kerstin, 19, and Stefan,18, will also be questioned by the court as soon as doctors give their approval. Josef Fritzl’s wife Rosemarie, 68, is also expected to be questioned.

In what may be a surprising development, it turns out that Austrian law, does not allow for cumulative convictions. This means that even if Josef Fritzl is convicted of multiple crimes he will only effectively serve one punishment, for the offense that carries the longest prison sentence.

Fritzl is facing potential charges of manslaughter for the newborn that died, as well as rape, coercion, deprivation of freedom and incest. But prosecutors told The Times that since the baby died in 1997, the manslaughter charges would be “extremely difficult” to prove. Even the rape charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, could be impossible to probe because of a lack of forensic evidence.

What this means is that the only charge that is certain to be proved in court is deprivation of freedom, a crime that can only be punished with ten years in prison under Austrian law. Josef Fritzl could be a free man after only 10 years in prison.

However, here’s the irony in the situation….. Josef Fritzl, who incarcerated his own daughter in a windowless dungeon for 24 years, has admitted that he can’t stand being locked up after only two months in prison. In spite of his fear of being beaten up or killed by other inmates, who routinely target child sex offenders, Josef has demanded his right to 30 minutes exercise outside every day. At night fellow inmates bang on the walls and shout: “Come on out Satan, we want to play.”

Fritzl, who remains held in pretrial detention in St. Poelten, about 50 miles west of Vienna, now has half-hour walks, protected from other inmates by a close guard of prison officers. Fritzl even told prison guards he enjoyed having the sun on his face during his walks.

“Mr Fritzl is accommodated in a cell for two and recently he has made use of his right to go outside for half an hour per day,” the Telegraph quoted prison spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Erich Huber-Guensthofer, as saying.

A source is quoted as saying: “He usually sits there watching television all day, especially news programs about him. He’s terrified that someone will attack him or try to kill him.”

In encouraging news about the Fritzl family; Lisa, 15, one of Elisabeth’s daughters, was sneaked out of the compound where the family has been staying to attend a summer camp. It is reported that the girl enjoyed four carefree days of outdoor fun under an assumed name with 4,000 other young campers. Armin Blutsch, who commands Amstetten’s fire brigade, and Hans-Heinz Lenze, a local official, said camp organizers took it upon themselves to include her after she said it was her “ardent desire.”

Other family members also have ventured, always in disguise, from the Amstetten-Mauer psychiatric clinic where they have been recovering to make day trips, including swimming outings. The clinic however remains under police guard to shut out the paparazzi who have laid siege to the building in an effort to photograph Elisabeth and her children.

“Fortunately, everything is going very well,” said Christoph Herbst, a lawyer representing the victims. He said they were spending some time each day trying to answer the hundreds of letters sent by well-wishers from around the world.

For the complete story of Elisabeth Fritzl and her ordeal at the hands of her father click the following link for a 5-part video presentation of The Josef Fritzl Story.

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