Controversial incest trial underway

German trucker is on trial accused
of sexually abusing his daughter and stepchildren for decades as neighbours and
social services apparently ignored telltale signs.

The 48-year-old, identified only as
Detlef S, is accused of forcing his stepdaughter, now in her late 20s, to
father eight of his children and of sexually abusing his daughter and stepson
in a 23-year reign of terror.

The German newspaper Bild reported
that Detlef S was a truck driver who lived with the family in the small town of
Fluterschen, near Bonn.

It said his daughter is now 18
years old and his stepdaughter is 28.

Tests have shown with 99.9 per cent
certainty that he fathered seven children with his stepdaughter, who also gave
birth to an eighth child who died.

Detlef S has admitted to fathering
the children but denied sexually abusing any of the alleged victims.

The children are now aged between
15 months and 11 years old.

Detlef S is also accused of forcing
his daughter and stepdaughter to have sex with other men for money.

 Two of those men also face charges and will be
tried separately.

The suspect has been in custody
since August after his daughter came forward to authorities.

The trial has been dubbed the trial
of “the German Fritzl” after Austrian Josef Fritzl, who held his
daughter Elisabeth as a sex slave in a cramped dungeon for 24 years.

In total Detlef S is charged with
350 counts of sexual assault and grievous sexual assault of minors.

A verdict is expected on 25 February.

He faces 15 years behind bars if
convicted.