Austria, Josef Fritzl remains in prison: request for release rejected

Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who held his daughter prisoner for 24 years and raped her thousands of times, from whose intercourse seven children were born, will remain in custody, but may be transferred from psychiatric detention to a normal prison, as established by the Krems Regional Court in Austria. The 88-year-old will have to attend regular psychotherapy sessions and undergo psychiatric evaluations during a 10-year probationary period at the prison.

The request for release from detention was rejected

The request for release from detention was, therefore, rejected, but the decision is still a victory for Fritzl’s legal team as the conditions in a normal prison are considered an improvement compared to the strict controls in a judicial psychiatric institution.

The “Monster of Amstetten”

Fritzl was sentenced to life in prison on charges of incest, rape, coercion, kidnapping, enslavement and manslaughter of one of his infant children. He became known, in 2008, as the ‘Monster of Amstetten’ after the town in northern Austria where in 1984 he locked his then 18-year-old daughter in a soundproofed basement of his home. Fritzl, who now reportedly suffers from dementia, could be transferred to a regular prison based on a psychiatric assessment that he no longer poses a danger.

The 2022 decision

The ruling overturned an earlier decision from 2022 when Fritzl’s request to be transferred to a regular prison was rejected. The verdict is not yet legally binding and prosecutors have 14 days to appeal.