Josef Fritzl pleads guilty to all charges

March 18, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Josef Fritzl, the Austrian accused of imprisoning his daughter for 24 years, and fathering seven children with her, has changed his pleas to guilty on all charges. Fritzl, has admitted rape, incest, murder and enslavement. Things changed for Fritzl after watching his daughters video testimony yesterday, from the start of his trial on Monday, when he hid his face and denied the charges of enslavement and murdering one of the children soon after its birth.

As proceedings began in the courtroom in St Poelten, west of Vienna on Wednesday, the judge asked Fritzl who did not hide his face , how he felt after watching the videotaped testimony of his daughter.

In a low voice he said: “I plead guilty.”

“Your daughter told you the baby was suffering from breathing problems,” the judge said. “You had time to get first aid.”

Fritzl said: “I was hoping the little one would survive but I should have done something. I don’t know why I didn’t help. I just lost sight [of the issue].”

He then said he was “sorry”.

A court doctor has recommended that the 73-year-old Austrian engineer be sent to a psychiatric facility for treatment.

A verdict and sentencing is expected on Thursday.

Fritzl lured and imprisoned his 18-year-old daughter into a cellar with windowless, soundproofed chambers beneath their house in Amstetten in 1984, where he raped her repeatedly over a number of years. Throughout his daughter’s ordeal, Fritzl shared the house with his wife, who was apparently unaware of the horrors downstairs, which is pretty amazing.

The daughter and three of the children fathered by Fritzl were kept captive in the cellar until the case came to light in April last year, when one of the children became seriously ill and was taken to hospital.

He was accused of murdering one of newborn twin boys his daughter gave birth to in 1996, having failed to arrange medical care for the ailing infant. German law does not offer the option of death, but Fritzl could serve between 15-years and the rest of his life in a cell far more spacious than that in which he imprisoned his own child.


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