A 83-year-old man from Herentals, a city in the province of Antwerp, risks a prison sentence of 30 months for sexually abusing his granddaughter when she was 8-years-old.
The alleged assaults occurred about 15 years ago, but only came to light in November 2017. "My client only filed a complaint when she became sexually active herself and the memories came up," the victim's lawyer said, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.
He allegedly whipped and touched his own daughters inappropriately for years, but cannot be convicted for that anymore due to the statute of limitations. However, he can still be convicted of assaulting his granddaughter. The girl was around 8 years old at the time, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.
The assaults would have taken place in Zoersel, a municipality in the province of Antwerp, where the grandparents of the girl lived at that time. "He put his hand in her pants to touch her genitals and stroked her breasts. She also had to stroke his penis with her hands," said the victim's lawyer.
The police investigation revealed that the man had also abused and beaten two of his own children, but not the victim's mother, as she was "his favourite". His now ex-wife also testified to having been whipped by him.
"One of his daughters stated that he regularly touched and penetrated her with his fingers. He only stopped when the girls were 12 years old. At the age of 13, one of them had a gynaecologist establish that she was no longer a virgin," said Attorney General Catherine Dederen. "He also regularly hurt his children with a whip," she added.
The public prosecutor's office demanded a prison sentence of 30 months.
The accused pleads to be acquitted. He said he never touched his daughters with sexual intentions, and about the whippings, he said that times were different. He also denies his granddaughters' allegations. "I made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I did not do this," he said during the investigation.
The judge will pass judgment on 23 October.
The Brussels Times