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01:32

Netherlands: Father of 9 accused of abusing and sequestering his children for a decade

Netherlands, Assen
January 22, 2020 at 16:35 GMT +00:00 · Published

Prosecutors in the Netherlands said a 67-year-old farmer held six of his nine children captive for nearly a decade and sexually abused them, during a court hearing in Assen on Tuesday.

Gerrit-Jan van Dorsten, the defendant, who is facing charges of unlawful detention, child abuse, money laundering and sexual abuse, suffered a stroke and can no longer speak. He was not present at the pre-trial hearing.

Yehudi Moskowicz, the lawyer of another defendant in the case, Austrian handyman Josef Brunner, argued the children were not held captive as they could leave the house.

"The outside door was always open, let's pause at this, you could go in and out. This was to give more oxygen to the father." Three doors in the house had bolts that could be locked from the inside, said Moskowicz, who added, quoting one of the children, "To go outside was always possible, but we wanted to stay within the fence. If I had wanted to leave, I would have left long ago."

Van Dorsten allegedly blamed the children the death of their mother in 2004, telling them it was their fault for having contact with the outside world.

01:32
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Prosecutors in the Netherlands said a 67-year-old farmer held six of his nine children captive for nearly a decade and sexually abused them, during a court hearing in Assen on Tuesday.

Gerrit-Jan van Dorsten, the defendant, who is facing charges of unlawful detention, child abuse, money laundering and sexual abuse, suffered a stroke and can no longer speak. He was not present at the pre-trial hearing.

Yehudi Moskowicz, the lawyer of another defendant in the case, Austrian handyman Josef Brunner, argued the children were not held captive as they could leave the house.

"The outside door was always open, let's pause at this, you could go in and out. This was to give more oxygen to the father." Three doors in the house had bolts that could be locked from the inside, said Moskowicz, who added, quoting one of the children, "To go outside was always possible, but we wanted to stay within the fence. If I had wanted to leave, I would have left long ago."

Van Dorsten allegedly blamed the children the death of their mother in 2004, telling them it was their fault for having contact with the outside world.

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