Alex Constantine - March 18, 2009
Incest father pleads guilty to charges, faces life
By VERONIKA OLEKSYN and WILLIAM J. KOLE Associated Press Writers
ST. POELTEN, Austria—Josef Fritzl abruptly pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him Wednesday—a surprising twist amid disclosures that the daughter he imprisoned for 24 years in a dungeon where she bore him seven children secretly sat in on the trial.
Adding intrigue to a case that has drawn worldwide attention, Fritzl calmly acknowledged his guilt, including to homicide, and said his change of heart came after hearing his daughter's heart-wrenching videotaped testimony.
"I declare myself guilty to the charges in the indictment," Fritzl, 73, told a panel of judges, referring to what he called "my sick behavior." ...
Fritzl was charged with negligent homicide in the death of an infant boy as well aenslavement, rape, incest, forced imprisonment and coercion. Initially he pleaded guilty to incest and forced imprisonment, and partially guilty to rape and coercion. The change means he could face up to life in prison for the homicide charge. ...