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Grim New Element in Dutch Farmhouse Mystery

Prosecutors charge isolated farm father with sex abuse of 2 other kids
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 28, 2019 9:00 AM CST
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This Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 file image from video, shows the small group of buildings after a family was discovered to be living in secluded conditions in Ruinerwold, 80 miles northeast of Amsterdam, Netherlands.   (RTL Netherlands via AP, File)

(Newser) – A Dutch father accused of holding six of his children against their will on an isolated farm for nine years is now also suspected of sexually abusing two of his other children, prosecutors said Thursday. The abuse allegations add a grim new element to a case that is shrouded in mystery and garnered huge attention across the Netherlands, reports the AP. The 67-year-old father and a 58-year-old man, who is reportedly an Austrian national and rented the farm to the family, are suspected of illegal deprivation of liberty and abuse for their alleged detention of six young adults on a farm in the rural farming village of Ruinerwold. They will remain jailed as investigations continue, prosecutors said in a statement. They are expected to appear in court in January.

Investigations have now established that the 67-year-old, whose identity has not been released by officials, fathered nine children with a woman who died in 2004. Prosecutors allege that he sexually abused two of the oldest three children, who had already left home. Details of when and where the alleged abuse happened were not released. Dutch media have reported that the father had written extensively online about his self-styled religious beliefs, including a video apparently showing him working out on a home-made fitness machine. When police raided the farm in October after a 25-year-old kept at the home raised the alarm at a local bar, they found improvised rooms where the family lived in effective isolation. (Read more on the case here.)


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