German accused of raping daughter for 34 years stands trial

28th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

A German pensioner accused of raping his daughter repeatedly over a 34-year-period and fathering three children with her went on trial in this southern city Monday.

The now 69-year-old defendant, Adolf Bergbauer, admitted sex with his daughter in testimony before the court but denied charges of rape. He said she consented.

Bergbauer has been charged with 497 counts of rape. Suspected cases earlier than 1991 have now passed the statute of limitations and are too old to consider.

He denied the prosecution charges he started to rape his daughter when she was 12. The first sexual contact took place when she was 17, he said. "She was a willing participant," he insisted.

"I did not undress her myself," added Bergbauer, who is illiterate and used to work as an occasional labourer. He said they had consensual sex around twice a week.

However, according to prosecutors, the daughter, now aged 46, said he raped her in her parents' bedroom, in her own room and later in the woods in the back of his car.

She also said he forced her into sex at knife-point, which Bergbauer strenuously denied. "Never in my life have I done that," he said.

The daughter's lawyer, Andrea Kuehne, said her client was "shocked and furious" at Bergbauer's statement that the sex was consensual.

"My client would never have pressed charges if she had felt that way," said the lawyer.

Of the three sons born as a result, two died and the other is handicapped.

The man faces up to 15 years behind bars if convicted.

© 2011 AFP

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