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Fritzl, 73, was sentenced on March 19 to life in a psychiatric facility for locking his daughter, Elisabeth, in a dungeon for 24 years, raping her 3,000 times, fathering seven children with her and letting one of the children die in captivity as a newborn.
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Fritzl initially admitted to some of the charges against him, including rape and false imprisonment, but denied homicide and slavery charges. During his trial, he stunned the court by making an abrupt about face and pleading guilty to those charges after seeing his daughter in court.
“As I noticed that she was here, in the courtroom … I was suddenly so ashamed,” he said.
“I tried to make life in the cellar as pleasant as possible for my second family — and in the course of the years, a partnership between my daughter and myself,” he said. “But … I knew I had to confess everything, I could not varnish over the truth any longer. … I understood, finally, what suffering I brought to my family.”