A 66-year-old man was given a four-year prison sentence by the criminal court in Turnhout on Wednesday for the sexual assault and rape of a total of three grandchildren aged just 4, 7 and 8 years old from Turnhout and Oud-Turnhout. The man has also been deprived of his rights for five years. The Public Prosecution Service had demanded a six-year prison sentence last month.
During the hearing of the case, it came to light that the man had also raped his own son years ago, when he was between 9 and 12 years old, but the case never came to court. The man had subsequently undergone therapy himself, but years later he crossed the line again.
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He completely freaked out in June 2021 at a family party with the grandparents. “The 4-year-old granddaughter rubbed her private parts with a fork and said that she had learned this from her ‘voke’,” said prosecutor Hanne Hendrickx. “Thirty years after the man abused his own son, he abused the same son’s children and another grandchild. Grandchildren sometimes say: I learned this from my grandpa. Well, they also received something here, namely a large black cross. And that is nothing to be proud of.”
According to the public prosecutor’s office, the defendant touched two grandchildren aged 7 and 8 in their sleep, but these children did not consciously experience this. He had not only assaulted her 4-year-old granddaughter, but also raped her with a finger.
“The therapy that the man followed years ago appeared to work and trust within the family was rebuilt. But years later things went wrong again.”
“The therapy that the man followed years ago appeared to work and trust within the family was rebuilt. But years later things went wrong again. The man knew from the beginning that things would go wrong, but he still did not intervene,” the public prosecutor’s office said.
Risk of recidivism
The grandfather directly expressed his regret for what he had done to the family. “I apologize for my sexual misconduct. I would do anything to undo this. Despite everything, I love you. I am really sorry and I will continue my therapy,” the man promised.
The public prosecutor asked on Wednesday to immediately arrest the sixty-year-old because of the risk of recidivism, but the court did not respond to this. “The facts took place in the family atmosphere. Because there is no longer contact with the family, there is no risk of recidivism,” said his counsel, Master Lars Michiels. “He is well aware that he has burned all bridges with his family members. He will never contact them himself. He leaves the initiative for this to the family members, if they would like that.”