Prosecutors appeal decision to move 'monster,' who held daughter captive for 24 years, to regular prison

Austrian prosecutors are appealing a court’s recent decision to move Josef Fritzl, dubbed the “monster of Amstetten,” who held his daughter captive for 24 years and fathered seven of her children, to regular prison.

The decision came down last week, when a court ruled that Fritzl, 88, could be transferred from a psychiatric ward to a regular prison, reportedly marking the first step of his expected parole bid.

Ferdinand Schuster, a spokesperson for the state court in Krems, on Thursday confirmed via broadcaster ORF that a Vienna court will now have to decide whether Fritzl may be transferred to regular prison after prosecutors challenged last week’s ruling, according to the Austria Press Agency.

Austrian law allows prisoners sentenced to life in prison to apply for parole after serving 15 years, which Fritzl will reach in March, since he was initially sentenced in 2009.

‘MONSTER’ WHO FATHERED HIS DAUGHTER’S 7 CHILDREN IN CAPTIVITY SMIRKS DURING PRISON MOVE IN PUSH FOR FREEDOM

Incest monster Josef Fritzl in a van

Josef Fritzl is transported from court in Krems, Austria, on Thursday, January 25, 2024. Fritzl was sentenced to life in prison for crimes related to the rape and enslavement of his own daughter in the basement of a house, but now, after winning his bid to be moved to a regular prison, is paving the way for his future release. (News Licensing/Mega)

“In summary, the court has come to the conclusion that it is indeed the case that he is no longer dangerous,” Fritzl’s lawyer, Astrid Wagner, told The Associated Press of the court’s decision last week.

JOSEF FRITZL, WHO RAPED DAUGHTER AND KEPT HER CAPTIVE FOR 24 YEARS, COULD MOVE TO REGULAR PRISON

Fritzl reportedly has dementia, and a psychiatric evaluation suggested that he does not pose any future threats to the public. Thursday’s court decision overturned a 2022 ruling rejecting Fritzl’s request to be moved to a regular prison. 

Defendant Josef Fritzl arrives for the last day of his trial at the court of law in Sankt Poelten in Austria's province of Lower Austria March 19, 2009. Fritzl, a 73-year-old Austrian who locked his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathered seven children with her, is expected to be jailed for the rest of his life today. Fritzl reversed his plea and admitted guilt on all charges in court on Wednesday after watching the daughter he locked up and raped describe her ordeal in an 11-hour video testimony.

Defendant Josef Fritzl arrives for the last day of his trial at the court of law in Sankt Poelten in Austria’s province of Lower Austria on March 19, 2009.  (REUTERS/POOL/Helmut Fohringer )

In 1984, Fritzl kidnapped his 18-year-old daughter, Elisabeth, and kept her locked in a sound-proof basement in their Amstetten home, where he fathered seven of her children over more than two decades.

CELLAR WHERE JOSEF FRITZL HELD DAUGHTER AND FATHERED HER CHILDREN TO BE FILLED WITH CEMENT

She was found in 2008 after 24 years of captivity and brutal abuse in the windowless basement. Elisabeth’s mother was apparently oblivious to her daughter’s captivity in her own home, according to Austrian authorities.

Incest monster Josef Fritzl in a van

Josef Fritzl is transported from a court in Krems, Austria, on Thursday, January 25, 2024. He was sentenced to life in prison for crimes related to the rape and enslavement of his own daughter in the basement of a house, but now, after winning his bid to be moved to a regular prison, is paving the way for his future release. (News Licensing/Mega)

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When asked about her whereabouts, Fritzl would reportedly say she had run away. In 2008, authorities charged Fritzl with incest, rape, coercion, false imprisonment, enslavement and negligent homicide after he had killed one of the sons he had fathered with his captive daughter soon after the baby was born.

The court agreed to move Fritzl into a regular prison upon the condition that he undergo psychotherapy and psychiatric evaluations over a 10-year probation period, the Austria Press Agency reported.

Building materials stand in the garden of the house of Josef Fritzl, who kept his daughter captive for 24 years and fathered seven children in the cellar, in the village of Amstetten June 21, 2013. The cellar is being sealed off with concrete, much to the relief of neighbours keen to forget one of Austria's most horrific crimes. Fritzl, was sentenced in 2009 to life imprisonment in a special unit for the criminally insane for incest, rape, coercion, false imprisonment, enslavement and for the negligent homicide of one of his infant sons.

Building materials stand in the garden of the house of Josef Fritzl, who kept his daughter captive for 24 years and fathered seven children in the cellar, in the village of Amstetten, on June 21, 2013.  (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

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In a 2009 statement, the St. Poelten provincial prosecutors’ office said that Fritzl had “forced Elisabeth into slave-like conditions . . . shut her away in the cellar and made her totally dependent on him, forcing her into sexual acts and treating her as if she was his own property,” according to Reuters.

Prosecutors also alleged that Fritzl had threatened to kill Elisabeth and gas their children to death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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