Father charged with sexual abuse after keeping children captive for 10 years

A father held six of his 9 kids captive for just about 10 years, telling them “unhealthy spirits” would input their our bodies in the event that they left the home, a court docket has heard.

Gerrit-Jan Van Dorsten, 67, is charged with illegal detention, kid abuse, cash laundering and sexual abuse after he and 5 grownup kids had been discovered at an remoted farmhouse in Ruinerwold, within the northern Netherlands.

A 6th sibling had escaped and reached a close by village bar, the place locals alerted police.

An animal ambulance is seen at the site of a remote farm where a family spent years locked away in a cellar, according to Dutch broadcasters' reports, in Ruinerwold, Netherlands October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier
An animal ambulance on the web page of a faraway farm the place he stored the kids locked away

Van Dorsten suffered a stroke and now can’t discuss, and wasn’t on the pre-trial listening to in Assen.

Diana Roggen, prosecuting, advised judges: “The entire kids file bodily punishment in the event that they had been deemed to be below the affect of spirits.

“This took place from an excessively younger age, with kids as younger as 4 or 5 years previous.

“The punishments would include beatings, on occasion with a stick or different items, pulling in their hair, on occasion making them sit down in a chilly tub for hours. Now and again they had been choked to the purpose the place they become subconscious.”

She additionally mentioned the kids had been discouraged from interacting with “outsiders” as it was once deemed unhealthy for “cleanliness of the top circle of relatives”.

The six youngest had been stored in seclusion from delivery and needed to keep within and stay quiet, Ms Roggen advised the court docket.

The older kids had been evaded their siblings. One 15-year-old lady was once moved to some other the city whilst a 12-year-old son was once pressured to reside on my own in a caravan.

Van Dorsten is accused of telling the kids the demise in their mom in 2004 was once their fault for having touch with the outdoor global.

A woman from animal ambulance holds cat carriers at the site of a remote farm where a family spent years locked away in a cellar, according to Dutch broadcasters' reports, in Ruinerwold, Netherlands October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier
One sibling escaped and alerted the government

One kid advised the prosecutors all the way through wondering: “I had a foul spirit and I didn’t wish to switch it to them.”

The kids had been staring at lawsuits remotely however could have to testify later.

Allegations made by way of the kids had been showed by way of diaries stored by way of Van Dorsten discovered within the farmhouse.

Ms Roggen mentioned: “The kids’s statements are showed by way of the diaries seized all the way through the quest. Van Dorsten wrote a number of instances about unhealthy spirits who’re within the frame of one among his kids and about how they had been expelled.

“What’s written in the ones diaries as it should be correspond to occasions described by way of the kids.”

He stored observe in their actions with cameras, and advised the kids “unhealthy spirits would input their our bodies” in the event that they got here into touch with outsiders.

He additionally advised them the sector would “finish violently”.

The kids had been held between 2007 and their discovery final 12 months. Van Dorsten withheld meals, drink and scientific remedy, and one of the most older kids have mentioned they had been pressured to accomplish intercourse acts on him.

He justified those by way of telling them “a feminine spirit, the spirit in their mom or some other non secular spouse” entered their our bodies.

Members of the court in Assen, on January 21, 2020 pose before a hearing in the criminal case against prime suspect Gerrit Jan van D. and the Austrian tenant and handyman Josef B. in the Ruinerwold case. - The two suspects are, among other things, suspected of improper deprivation of liberty. (Photo by Robin VAN LONKHUIJSEN / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
Contributors of the court docket in Assen the place the trial will happen

3 older kids had left the circle of relatives prior to Van Dorsten took them into seclusion.

Josef Brunner, an Austrian, has been named as an companion of Van Dorsten, as he paid hire at the farmhouse. He has been charged with endangering the well being of others and illegal detention.

The entire kids at the moment are over the age of 18. They’ve no longer spoken publicly however have given statements to a Dutch filmmaker.

The 4 eldest – 3 who left the circle of relatives and the person who escaped – have mentioned they reinforce their father’s prosecution, however the 5 more youthful siblings mentioned they didn’t.

They’re in counselling.

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