Austrian police are investigating claims that a man locked up his two mentally ill daughters in a small room in their home and sexually abused them for 41 years.

Officers said the 80-year-old repeatedly raped the women between 1970 and May 2011 in St Peter am Hart, near the Bavarian border. The alleged victims are now aged 53 and 45. A police official did not name either the suspect or the alleged victims.

Police confirmed they were investigating after a report in the Oberösterreichische Nachrichten newspaper.

The newspaper said the women escaped when the father was unable to get off the floor after the older daughter pushed him over when he last tried to rape her.

The police official said the 80-year-old suspect was free, pending an investigation and possible charges, because there was no danger of him fleeing.

The state broadcaster, ORF, said the claims were only recently revealed because the two alleged victims did not tell anyone about them for weeks after their escape. It said the suspect was now in a care home.


Austrian father 'locked daughters in room for 41 years' | World news | The Guardian (external - login to view)