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‘Brazilian Fritzl’ kept daughter imprisoned for 12 years, police claim

June 16th, 2010

Jose Agostinho Pereira

A man in a remote fishing village in Brazil kept his daughter imprisoned for 12 years, raped her repeatedly and had seven children with her, police have claimed.

The man is also accused of abusing a young girl he had with his daughter.

Police allege that Jose Agostinho Pereira, 54, kept his daughter, now 28, under virtual house arrest in a two-room, thatched-roof hut near a tiny fishing village in northeastern Brazil.

An officer who aided in the arrest said the home was located in such a remote, jungle area that the only way to reach it was by using canoes. Authorities said the children appeared to suffer from malnutrition and could barely communicate with others. Most were unclothed.

The alleged abuse began when Pereira’s wife left him in 1998, said police inspector Jair Lima de Paiva.

Pereira has been in jail since Tuesday in the city of Pinheiro in Maranhao state, about 1,400 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. Charges have not been filed against him. Under Brazilian law, prosecutors only file charges after police have ended their investigation.

Mr Paiva said Pereira kept his daughter and the children in nearly complete isolation in the countryside near the village of Experimento, about 50 miles outside of Pinheiro.

While the exact ages of the children – four girls and three boys – were not known as none of their births were registered, police believe they range in age from two months old to 12.

“None of them were allowed to leave the house. None can read, they can barely communicate with other people,” said Paiva. “They were all threatened with their lives if they tried to escape or tell anyone about the situation.”

Mr Paiva said police were tipped off about Pereira’s alleged crimes by an anonymous phone call.

Officers from Pinheiro were sent to the remote area about 10 days ago, where they located Pereira’s house, kept it under observation for a few days and then arrested him.

“He confessed to everything,” said a police officer who helped arrest Pereira, speaking on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to discuss the case.

Pereira’s daughter and the seven children are now under the care of the government’s protective services.

It was last year in Austria that Josef Fritzl was found guilty of locking his daughter in a dungeon for 24 years and fathering seven children with her.


‘Brazilian Fritzl’ claims sex with daughter was consensual

A man accused of imprisoning his daughter for 12 years and fathering her seven children by her has called their relationship consensual, while a second daughter told authorities she was abused by her father and bore him a son.

But Police say Jose Agostinho Pereira, 54, could face up to 30 years in prison for allegedly keeping one of his daughters and their children in subhuman conditions in two-room hut in an isolated, jungle area in northeastern Brazil. In a prison interview, Mr Pereira remained defiant about the accusations that he had seven children with his 28-year-old daughter. “It’s a crime, I know it’s a crime. But she was also committing it,” he told local television station TV Cidade from his jail cell. “I only did it because it was a consenting love. If she had not consented to it, I wouldn’t have done it.” Lead investigator Adriana Meireles said that another of Mr Pereira’s daughters – who is now 31-years-old – is accusing him of abuse. “The woman confirmed to us that her father raped her and that she had a son about 17 years ago,” Ms Meireles said. “The woman said she escaped from the home shortly after she gave birth to the boy and left him with her father.” Police claim Mr Pereira started sexually abusing his now 28-year-old daughter after his wife left him, when the daughter was just 12. The pair had their first child four years later. Mr Pereira is accused of keeping her under virtual house arrest since 1998. They and their seven children lived in a thatched-roof hut, outside a tiny fishing village in Maranhao state, an area so remote it can only be reached by canoe. He was jailed on Tuesday in the city of Pinheiro, about 1,400 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. His daughter and the children are being cared for by the state’s protective care services. The exact ages of the four girls and three boys are not known, as none of their births was registered. Police believe they range in age from 2 months to 12 years.

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