In a case that has shocked Italy and drawn comparison with Josef Fritzl in Austria, Italian police have arrested a 64-year-old Turin man for allegedly sexually abusing his daughter over 25 years and encouraging his son to follow his example.
The 41-year-old son is also behind bars, accused of abusing not only his sister, now 34, but his own young daughters, aged 6, 8, 12 and 20.
“It seems that in this family there was a sort of droit de seigneur of the father over the daughter,” Pietro Forno, the Turin prosecutor, said. The two men deny the charges.
Italian newspapers identified the father as Michele Mongelli, and his son as Giuseppe. The 34-year-old daughter was identified with the pseudonym Laura. Police said that the 64-year-old man’s daughters and granddaughters had been kept in “conditions of slavery and mistreatment,” with Laura often locked up in the dark in her bedroom.
However Forno said Laura was “strictly speaking free, though she did nothing without her father, who completely dominated her psychologically." He said Laura was the eldest of nine children, and “according to a family rule, the eldest daughter was reserved” for the father.
"The young woman is suffering from personality disorders because of the prolonged incestuous situation and mistreatment,” he said. "A psychiatric evaluation has determined that the situation was one of very serious distress." He said Laura had a “totally passive personality before her father, who made her live in a climate of threats.”