The case attracted worldwide attention last October when police discovered the father with six of his children on an isolated farm in the east of the Netherlands, 130 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Amsterdam, after one of the Children gave the alarm. Prosecutors described the children as young adults.
The 67-year-old father, identified only as Gerrit Jan van D., was not in court for Tuesday’s hearing. He is reportedly in a prison hospital and can no longer speak after suffering a stroke several years ago.
Despite this disability, prosecutors say he was able to keep his children isolated from the outside world. He is also accused of assaulting them, two of them sexually. Prosecutors said the children’s statements and a journal kept by the father support those accusations.
In a statement, prosecutors said the father’s “words and actions” prevented his children from leaving. The children’s mother died years ago.
Moving through a series of Dutch cities, the father kept his six youngest children isolated from the outside world since birth and never registered them with local authorities, as required by Dutch law.
“Indeed, they did not exist,” said the statement of the accusation.
The three oldest of the nine children were allowed to attend school, although they were forbidden to go on field trips or parties. Later they left the isolated existence of the family.
Prosecutors said the father told the children that external influences would make them “unclean” and threaten their status as “chosen by God.”
“If they tell you this from an early age, without having the opportunity to know the outside world in freedom and discover what you believe, then you don’t have to be locked up to prevent you from leaving,” the prosecution said. statement said. “Everything you are told repeatedly and what you experience acts as a figurative block.”
Prosecutors said the father abused the children “beating them, beating them, kicking them, depriving them of food and drink and preventing them from receiving the necessary medical or mental care.”
Prosecutors also accuse the father of sexually abusing two of the three children who finally left the family home between 2002 and 2008.
An Austrian man, identified as Josef B., who rented the cottage in the village of Ruinerwold to the father, brought the family’s food and helped take care of the farm garden, appeared in court on Tuesday. He is accused of complicity in keeping the family isolated and depriving the six younger brothers of their freedom.
“Without suspect B. this situation could not have happened,” prosecutors said.
The six youngest in the family are in an undisclosed location.
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