Story By: Koen Berghuis, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
The trial of a man accused of using an underage girl and a young woman as sex slaves similar to the case of infamous child murderer Marc Dutroux has begun in Belgium.
The 22-year-old suspect, whose name has not been shared due to strict privacy laws, has gone on trial in the capital Brussels.
According to the indictment, in 2016, the suspect convinced an underage and mentally challenged girl to start a relationship with him but instead locked her up for months under appalling conditions in his Brussels basement where she was raped multiple times.
The prosecutor said: “From her statements it turned out that she was repeatedly raped. She got a sandwich to eat once in every three days and had to wash herself in a bucket. When she was found she was barely able to walk and the sunlight hurt her eyes, as there was not even a window in the cellar.”
The girl was also severely beaten by the suspect according to the indictment.
The underage girl was only freed after two and a half months when the suspect’s sister found her in the cellar and alerted the cops, who arrested the 22-year-old.
Incredibly, the suspect was conditionally released in 2017 – and three days later he allegedly found a new victim who he allegedly manipulated and locked up.
The prosecutor said: “That release was in hindsight a mistake. Just before his arrest he already started a new relationship with his second victim, a naive young adult woman.”
When he later took his victim away to France, they were finally arrested again by the police after the two were caught shoplifting.
When the cops interrogated the girl, she said that she was being held against her will and had been raped multiple times.
The woman was at the time 22 weeks pregnant from the suspect but had lost 14 kilogrammes (30.8 lbs) in weight as she barely was given any food, according to reports.
A court psychiatrist found the suspect had psychopathic and sadistic leanings and said he lacked empathetic abilities.
The public prosecutor’s office has demanded 15 years in prison and a forced internment in a psychiatric clinic for an indefinite time.
The prosecutor said: “The chance of recidivism is high. He tortures animals, does not shy away from sexual violence, and keeps on making victims.”
According to the suspect’s lawyer, the victims “were not manipulated as they were madly in love with him”. The lawyer said his client’s behaviour was due to the fact that at the age of six “he saw his mother die in a traffic incident which influenced him for the rest of his life”.
A two-year prison sentence is also being sought against the suspect’s father as prosecutors believe he had always known about his son’s alleged crimes but had never stopped him.
The trial is ongoing.
The case has some similarities with that of Marc Dutroux, 62, one of the world’s most deadly paedophiles who is serving a life sentence for the shocking sex crimes that made him Belgium’s most notorious killer.
He was found guilty of the kidnap, torture, rape and murder of four young girls in the 1990s. Two other young victims were found alive, starving in the torture chamber he built in the basement of his home.