Family in Germany accused of enslaving woman for a year

9th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

A family of three in southern Germany has been arrested on charges of holding a woman as a slave for nearly a year in their home until her escape last weekend, prosecutors said Thursday.

A police commando unit raided the home in the town of Hassmersheim Wednesday and detained the three relatives on suspicion of imprisoning the woman and brutally forcing her to perform household tasks.

In an least one instance, the father of the family allegedly raped the victim.

"During the entire time, the victim was repeatedly abused, humiliated and threatened," prosecutors in the city of Mosbach said in a statement.

"(The family) is strongly suspected of using violence and threats to force the victim to perform household chores and to snuff out any hope of fleeing from her thoughts."

Authorities said at least one member of the family kept watch over the woman at all times but that she was nevertheless able to escape last week through an open window.

Because they had reason to believe the family held weapons, police dispatched the commando unit.

© 2011 AFP

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