Shocking

Italy's Dungeon Dad

The original dungeon dad — Austria's Josef Fritzl — may be behind bars, but new cases of familial imprisonment and long-term sexual abuse are attracting attention in other parts of the world. The Times Online reports that a 64-year-old man in Turin has been arrested for 25 years' worth of raping his daughter — and for encouraging his son to rape his sister as well as his own four daughters. Turin's prosecutor called the family mindset a "droit de seigneur," French for lord's right, a supposed tradition wherein the lord of an estate is allowed to deflower any virgin who lives in his land. "According to a family rule, the eldest daughter was reserved" for the father, the prosecutor continued. Police report "conditions of slavery and mistreatment," and early psychiatric evaluations suggest personality disorders and "serious distress." The daughter reportedly approached authorities for help as far back as 1994, but her complaint was dismissed. Following the victim's new complaints about her brother assaulting his daughters, authorities bugged the family's home and collected verbal evidence that became the foundation for the new, dizzyingly large case. The men's lawyers maintain their clients' innocence.