Man blames childhood for incestuous ways
Mar 16,2009 00:00 by UPI

ST. POELTEN, Austria -- The Austrian man accused of keeping his daughter as his sex slave for 24 years told court officials Monday his upbringing was the root of his behavior.

Josef Fritzl, 73, pleaded guilty to rape, incest, false imprisonment and coercion in keeping his daughter as his sex slave for 24 years, The Daily Telegraph reported. However, Fritzl, said he was innocent of slavery and a murder charge that was related to a boy who died few days after he was born.

The trial is in St. Poelten, about 30 miles from Amstetten, where he where he kept his daughter, Elizabeth, imprisoned for 24 years in the cellar beneath his home and fathered seven living children.

Fritzl blamed his adult behavior on a "troubled childhood" and the lack of a relationship with his mother.

"She used to stop me having any friends," Fritzl said on the first day of his trial. "I had a very troubled childhood and at times I was taken away and put into a foster home."

Fritzl's attorney Rudolf Mayer said his client wasn't "a monster. He is a man who wanted a second family and wanted to care for that second family."

Prosecutor Christiana Burkheiser said Fritzl turned his back on attempts to mitigate for what he had done.

"The reality is that he took his daughter Elisabeth into the cellar and that he drugged her," Burkheiser said. "There was almost nothing to make her life more bearable."

Fritzl allegedly raped his daughter daily after luring her to the cellar in August 1984, the British newspaper reported. Her plight came to light when one of her children went to the hospital.

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