Dungeon dad being offered counselling 'to cope with trial'

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London, Mar 18 (ANI): Dungeon dad Josef Fritzl is being offered counselling to help cope with the trauma of his ongoing trial that started on March 16.

The Austrian engineer has "partly" pleaded guilty to having raped his daughter Elisabeth more than 3,000 times during the 24 years he imprisoned her in a cellar. The 73-year-old fathered seven children with Elisabeth, while she was trapped in a dungeon beneath the family home.

His attorney Rudolf Mayer said that he was "scared" before his trial at St Poelten in Austria, and had been trying his best to hide from the media.

The jury, consisting of four men and four women, listened to harrowing evidence from Elisabeth in a detailed video testimony, in which she has described the abuse meted out against her at the hands of her father.

Elisabeth recorded 11 hours of interviews describing her torment, which started in 1984.

Her testimony is so disturbing that the tape is being played in short excerpts of around an hour at a time to prevent them becoming traumatised.

And Fritzl is being asked to reply to the allegations made in each segment of the tape.

Erich Huber-Gunstofer, vice president of St Poelten prison, where Fritzl is being held, said that the incest rapist was being offered psychiatric support.

"He is being offered psychiatric care to help him through the ordeal of the trial," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

"He can watch television because he has access to TV in the communal areas and he can also read the daily newspapers.

"He has told us that he doesn't want to exercise in the yard during the trial but he can do afterwards if he wants to.

"He has two people to protect him at all times. They don't discuss the trial with him but we are offering him therapists and he does share a cell with two other inmates.

"There is no special treatment for Josef F," he added.

Fritzl has pleaded guilty to the charges of rape, incest, false imprisonment and coercion, but denied an allegation of slavery.

He also denies murdering one of the children he fathered with Elisabeth, who was 18 when her ordeal began. (ANI)

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