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Austrian incest suspect freed

Austrian man freed after two women changed their story.

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(Antler)

An 80-year-old Austrian man was freed Friday after being held for two weeks on suspicion that he raped his daughters for four decades, the Associated Press reports.

Prosecutors said the man was freed after the women changed their story.

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The two daughters originally accused their father of repeatedly raping them since 1970. The daughters told investigators their father would beat them and threaten to kill them if they resisted.

The father, identified as Goffried W., was arrested last month on charges of suspicion of assault, torture, neglect, threats of violence, coercion, rape and other sexual crimes, according to the Oberösterreichische Nachrichten newspaper.

The father denied any wrongdoing from the beginning.

The daughters, now 53 and 45 years old, have since changed their story. They still say they were sexually molested but say another man did it and no longer blame their father for the assault.

Officials describe the daughters as having mental disabilities, and the father's attorney said the women do not understand what rape means.

"They understand rape as being tied to a bed or being pushed out of a bed," Josef Wimmer reported said.  

The case had been compared to that of Josef Fritzl, an Austrian father convicted after fathering seven children with his daughter.

Two years before the Fritzl case captured international headlines, an 18-year-old girl escaped from eight years of captivity by a man who later committed suicide.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/110909/austrian-incest-suspect-freed